I have been a vocal advocate for better and more equitable mobile phone and broadband coverage across the UK, with my focus of course being my own constituency of Mid-Worcestershire. As a member of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, I took the opportunity to challenge the new Chief Executive of OFCOM, Sharon White, on statistics that suggest that 72% of mobile phone users are on the wrong contracts or networks for their needs. The Committee also pressed Ms White on other coverage issues. She was extremely reasonable with her answers and I was reassured that OFCOM has such issues on its radar, but until tangible results are evident I will continue to campaign for wider and better mobile phone coverage.
Some Government action is beginning to take place on this important issue. A landmark deal was signed recently with the four main mobile network providers that will see £5 billion invested in the UK communication network, guaranteeing 90% of the UK’s landmass will have mobile reception by 2017. Alongside other programmes, this has been promised to ensure that 98% of people will have 4G mobile coverage by 2017.
I have been heavily involved in the debates surrounding the Digital Economy Bill and am confident that Britain is going to be a world leader in the development of 5G. My contributions to these debates have focused on better and more comprehensive coverage and I will continue this work on behalf of constituents such as yourself until a satisfactory solution is found.