Local MP John Lamont is backing proposals to require mobile operators to cooperate to implement roaming in rural parts of the UK.
As part of a consultation on telecommunications the UK Government has called on Ofcom to review the possibility of allowing consumers to access other operators when they do not get coverage from their own operator. One option for doing this would be to attach such a condition to any future auction of new spectrum frequencies, planned for later this year.
It forms part of the UK Government’s commitment to extend mobile coverage to 95% of the UK’s geography by 2022. Recent Ofcom figures show that only 78% of Scotland’s landmass has coverage from an operator and only 38% has good 4G coverage from all operators.
Local MP John Lamont who has repeatedly called for more to be done to improve mobile signal in the Borders, has now joined with fellow MPs representing rural constituencies to write to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, urging them to implement this proposal.
Commenting, John Lamont MP said: “A lack of mobile phone signal is a huge source of frustration for many communities in the Borders.
“Like the problems with broadband, having a decent mobile signal is holding businesses back and is really unfair for consumers who are paying the same as everyone else for an inferior service.
“These proposals have the potential to vastly improve mobile signal in the Borders and they have already been endorsed by Ofcom as effective. The ability to hop on to another mobile operator’s signal if your own provider does not cover the area would be a great idea for rural areas.
“That is why I am calling on the UK Government to require mobile networks to implement mobile roaming as soon as possible.”