Campaign to improve region's mobile signal with #shareyournotspots
PUBLISHED: 00:01 20 March 2018
The scheme is part of a nationwide campaign launching today to improve signal.
The campaign which is being run by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and is strongly backed by our local chambers.
The idea is that communities and businesses will share areas in which signal tends to drop out so that the BCC can speak to the UK’s biggest mobile network operators– EE, 02, Vodafone and Three – as well as transport infrastructure providers, local authorities and central government to achieve 100% coverage by 2020.
A BCC spokesperson said: “Access to mobile voice call services is a basic requirement of business today: it’s essential to consumers and for linking people and communities.
“From the time that cell phone services were first introduced in the UK to the present day, the locations with signal coverage have grown from a handful of urban areas to around 98% of UK premises.”
The BCC’s infrastructure survey, conducted last month, showed that 53% of responding businesses believed that the reliability of the UK network had not improved in the last five years.
John Dugmore CEO of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce said that it was a problem that was particularly affecting businesses and town centres in the county.
He said:“It’s particularly important in Suffolk because we have a number of key strategic arteries such as the A12 and the A14 with terrible not spot areas.
“We urge you to report your not spots to your operator and get involved at #shareyournotspots.”
Businesses have given their experiences of mobile signal in Suffolk.
Matt Moss, the commercial director for Poundfield products who are based in Creeting St Peter.
“We have a not spot in the middle of our site,” said Mr Moss.
“It’s due to our location.”
This means that if something were to happen on one part of the site it’s very difficult to get in contact with the other side.
He added that drivers also encounter issues when delivering to agricultural clients.
John Mayhew, the executive chairman at Haverhill tax advisors Fiscale and a director of ONE Haverhill.
He emphasised the need for good phone signal to help businesses to choose Suffolk as place to start up in.
Mr Mayhew said there are a number of not spots on roads to major towns in the county.
“It gets to a point where I think I cannot make a phone call here. It’s embarrassing and frankly pathetic.”
The campaign is also being supported across the border in Essex.
Denise Rossiter, Chief Executive of Essex Chambers of Commerce, said “Mobile phones are no longer a must have fashion accessory but an essential day to day business tool along with electronic tablets enabling businesses to keep in contact with their customers 24 hours a day and across the globe.”
“In Essex, like other counties, there are too many not spots where there is no phone signal or it is too weak to be effective.
“We support the British Chambers of Commerce campaign to eradicate these so we can truly trade in the digital age rather than the semaphore age.”
You can share your not spots by filling in a form on the BCC’s website.