PRESELI MP Stephen Crabb has called a new £5 billion investment in the UK’s mobile infrastructure a “welcome step forward and a boost for Pembrokeshire.” The local MP has held a number of discussions with Culture Secretary Sajid Javid about mobile coverage in Pembrokeshire ahead of this week’s announcement. The landmark deal will see the mobile network operators EE, 02, Three and Vodafone, vastly reducing the number of both partial- and total not-spots. Where 63% of Wales now has coverage from all four operators, the deal will increase this figure to 83% by 2017.
Complete not-spots will be reduced by over two thirds and partial not-spots halved. Modern mobile data services too will be brought to many areas of Wales for the first time. Stephen has been raising the problem of not-spots in Pembrokeshire with Culture Secretary Javid and has pushed for the UK Government to seek a deal to improve mobile coverage.
As a rural area, the County has suffered from not-spots for some time, with villages like St Ishmaels particularly affected. Commenting, Stephen Crabb MP said: “This deal is a welcome step forward for rural areas across the country – but will be a particular boost for Pembrokeshire.” “More and more people are carrying out more of their social and economic activity on smartphones and the longer that not-spots go on, the bigger a problem it will become for Pembrokeshire. This is one of the most pressing issues raised with me by local businesses.”
“Vastly reducing the number of not-spots could be a big boost to the economy and rural communities of Pembrokeshire. I am pleased that the Culture Secretary Sajid Javid has announced this deal following my discussions with him. But we need to see continued progress on this matter in the months ahead.”