MP welcomes progress on mobile phone coverage

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A possible end to the running sore of poor or non-existent mobile phone coverage in Argyll and Bute has been welcomed by the area’s MP Alan Reid.

In the week that ‘4G’ mobile coverage was promised to some of Britain’s biggest cities, Mr Reid questioned culture, media and sport secretary Ed Vaizey in the House of Commons on Thursday on the UK government’s plans to improve mobile phone coverage in the area.

Mr Vaizey stated that the coalition’s mobile infrastructure project, currently being procured, would put £150 million into bringing mobile phone coverage to constituencies such as Argyll and Bute.

Speaking after the exchange, Mr Reid said: “Lack of mobile phone coverage was one of the main problems raised during my summer tour of Argyll and Bute.

“I am pleased that the Government has allocated £150 million to improve mobile phone reception in areas of the UK where homes and businesses have poor or non-existent coverage, also referred to as not-spots.

“The Government expects to appoint a mobile infrastructure project (MIP) supplier by the end of the year. I will work with local communities to make sure that this money is used to eliminate as many not-spots as possible in Argyll and Bute.”

Thursday’s Commons exchange went as follows:

Mr Alan Reid (Argyll and Bute) (LD): Many parts of Argyll and Bute have no mobile phone coverage, which is bad for business and can make it difficult to get help in an emergency. Will the Government please tell us what plans they have to extend mobile phone coverage in Argyll and Bute?

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (Mr Edward Vaizey): I am delighted to be able to tell my hon. Friend that we have the mobile infrastructure project, which we are currently procuring and which is putting £150 million precisely into bringing mobile phone coverage to constituencies such as his.