Let’s get connected: Time to sort out region’s mobile phone blackspots

The EADT is calling for better mobile phone coverage in Suffolk and north Essex

The EADT is calling for better mobile phone coverage in Suffolk and north Essex - Credit: Archant

Your EADT is today launching a major campaign across Suffolk and Essex to finally put an end to the mobile phone “blackspots” which blight too many parts of our counties.

It’s called Let’s Get Connected – and it aims to do exactly what the title says.

In the 21st century a mobile phone is a vital element of modern life – and most people use smart phones for much more than simply making calls. But large parts of Suffolk and Essex – including major tourist hotspots – have no coverage from big mobile operators.

If you’re a Vodafone customer, don’t expect to be able to make or receive any calls in Aldeburgh, Orford, or Framlingham. If you use O2, don’t look for a signal in Hoxne, Bramfield or Wickhambrook.

And if you visit Bildeston, don’t expect any mobile phone network to give you a decent signal!

It is simply not good enough. If you travel to Europe, even remote outposts have better mobile coverage than we endure in this part of the world – just a few miles up the road from London!

Our patchy coverage makes life difficult for business, hinders our reputation as a great place to come for visits or holiday, and can be a safety issue.

What happens if your teenage son or daughter is stranded somewhere but can’t phone home because they don’t have a signal?

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So, we’ve teamed up with some big players to demand a better service. Partners in the campaign are: The EADT, Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, and Visit East Anglia. We also have support from the Essex Chambers of Commerce.

Our demand is simple: We want good mobile signals for every provider throughout our counties. Not too much to ask in this hi-tech era, surely?

The government will say it has a programme to end what it calls “not spots” – areas where there’s no signal. That will mean erecting masts, but masts serve no purpose unless ALL the major mobile phone companies put transmitters on them.

For example, if a new mast is put up to serve a series of villages, and Vodafone puts a transmitter on it, then that’s great for Vodafone customers. But it’s no good at all for those who use EE.

So, we need the masts, and we also need the big players in the market to provide the service.

What can you do to help? Well, what we need to demonstrate is that the demand exists. We must show how difficult life can be with patchy, or non-existent, mobile coverage.

So, we need your stories. We need you to tell us about mobile phone “blackspots” in Suffolk and Essex, and we want to hear how that’s made life difficult, or even dangerous.

We also want you to sign our “Let’s Get Connected” petition on our campaign page.

We promise to present the weight of evidence to the people who can make a difference. We look forward to hearing from you!