Mobile phone coverage is so patchy in parts of Norfolk that calls to emergency services are impossible, according to councillors who are calling for the county to be handed extra cash to tackle the problem.

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Members of Norfolk County Council have agreed to lobby the government and MPs to prioritise the ‘not spots’ in the county’s mobile phone coverage.

Their action comes after a motion was put forward at a meeting of the full council by Hilary Cox, Conservative county councillor for Cromer.

She said: “It is so frustrating that whenever I leave Cromer, whether I’m going east, south or west, I go through a not spot area.

“It is disappointing that, despite huge advancements in mobile phone technology, there are some parts of Norfolk where it is not possible to get a mobile phone signal and where it may be difficult to reach professionals who are regularly on the move.”

Alison Thomas, cabinet member for Long Stratton, said: “Long Stratton is not exactly out there in the middle of nowhere, but is a complete not-spot, most particularly for Vodafone.

“That’s been brought to my attention on a number of occasions, including a resident who was trying to reach Macmillan nurse to get some pain relief for her husband, who was dying, but could not get through to them until they returned to the office because they were out and about.”

The council. which has already pledged to match-fund a project to bring superfast broadband to Norfolk. is hoping it will benefit from a share of a £150m funding pot to improve mobile phone coverage.

The government’s Mobile Infrastructure Project (MIP) has allocated £150m to improve mobile network services across the whole of the UK in areas defined as “complete not spots”, where mobile signals currently do not exist.

Funds have already been confirmed through the MIP scheme for improving the mobile signal along the A143 corridor, between Great Yarmouth and Haverhill.

But the council is hoping for a further boost. County council leader Bill Borrett said: “We have had mobile phones for 20 years and I think it is a scandal we have parts of Norfolk where you do not get a proper mobile phone signal.

“It is important for Norfolk and I give my personal commitment that we will present a very strong case for Norfolk having some of this government money.”

What is the mobile phone coverage like where you live and how has that affected you? Tell us by writing to EDP Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email edpletters@archant.co.uk

15 comments

  • I have reported to the mobile companies about poor signal all along north norfolk - but they do nothing. This is where technology fails, we have the equipment but its useless if you can't get connected ! The mobile phone companies say they cover most of the country what they actually mean is most big cities. As a service when there is no signal it isn't a service at all !

    Report this comment

    Stop Press

    Tuesday, March 26, 2013

  • Electing someone whose party's sole raison d'être seems to be keeping Johnny Foreigner out will REALLY improve mobile phone coverage in Norfolk.

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Friday, March 29, 2013

  • I have a Vodafone on contract and a PAYG Orange EE phone. I get a signal on one or the other EVERYWHERE. If you get a poor signal, maybe you're on the wrong provider...

    Report this comment

    Lord Elf

    Tuesday, March 26, 2013

  • not content with an incinerator in kings lynn the tories and hilary thompson want you to have a giant phone mast next to your house

    Report this comment

    Double Bill

    Tuesday, March 26, 2013

  • As scandals go this is the poor relation to EDP's propaganda mis-report of Ann Steward as the saviour of telecommunications for Norfolk. Have you all forgotten her silly publicity stunts at county hall with bigwigs from BT etc signing "agreements" to make us the greatest in the land?

    Report this comment

    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Tuesday, March 26, 2013

  • Damn good job I say, at least there are still one or two places where you don't get these plonkers walking along shouting at the top of their voice to some so called friend at the other end, who is probably within spitting distance, anyway.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Tuesday, March 26, 2013

  • This Alison Thomas is a joke. If Long Stratton cant get Vodaphone then dont use Vodaphone. I'm now off to take up my position as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge. What's that you say Skippy? I'm not that bright and anyone apart from a County Councillor could have worked that one out? What a disappointment. For a minute I thought I was really bright but I find I am only cleverer than a county councillor and Skippy tells me so is he.

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Wednesday, March 27, 2013

  • Perhaps because every time a telecoms business wants to erect a transmitter the locals tear their hair out & present multiple petitions. If you want good telecommunications you have to accept the necessary infrastructure.

    Report this comment

    Tudor Bushe

    Tuesday, March 26, 2013

  • Is there an election soon?

    Report this comment

    Police Commissioner ???

    Tuesday, March 26, 2013

  • "fact" - not "facts" - apologies for the typo.

    Report this comment

    tmresident

    Tuesday, March 26, 2013

  • Conversely the lack of mobile coverage is a bonus as far as I am concerned.

    Report this comment

    expat

    Tuesday, March 26, 2013

  • Have to agree with Wayne Kerr. I used to work for a mobile telco and followed planning applications quite closely. Every time an application was lodged the NIMBY brigade mobilised en masse. The facts is that if you own a mobile phone you will absorb far more "radiation" (I shudder to use the word) from the phone itself than you ever will from a transmitter (inverse square law). If the phone is close to a transmitter it uses much less power, therefore emits less "radiation". If the council wants to improve coverage (and I agree it needs improving in North Norfolk) then perhaps they should stop opposing planning applications, and local councillors should encourage their residents not to oppose them too.

    Report this comment

    tmresident

    Tuesday, March 26, 2013

  • I am with Ingo, this is not even worthy of distracting the proles from what is really important, for it to be paraded as news is risable. I deliberatly chose not to change mobile provider last year because I get the coverage I need from my mobile telephone. I might have been able to pay less for the lower standard of service had I changed to another provider. Why do people take out contracts which the provider is not prepared to service? Doh!!

    Report this comment

    George Ezekial

    Tuesday, March 26, 2013

  • wha'ts more important, mobile access or a non polluting replacement for their incinerator idea, or listening to what the people of Coltishall want? Making up non existing issue so you do not have to talk about the issues that matter to people. Will Cllr. Borett tell his electorate about the other two or three incinerators they want to build in Norfolk?

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, March 26, 2013

  • Alecto - you are right, Alison Thomas is a 'joke', what has she done to improve mobile phone coverage in rural areas over the last four years? Answer: about as much as she has done to improve Norfolk's schools and children's social care services: nothing! Total incompetence and ineptitude. UKIP are putting a candidate up against Thomas in Long Stratton and Labour have a fielded a candidate with an education background so bye bye Ms Thomas (what a shame she can't take Children's Services Director Lisa Christensen with her). Perhaps she use all the spare time she is going to have on her hands to proactively campaign for better mobile phone coverage. At least this article is not another to add to the Ann Steward popularity propaganda campaign that Archant and the EDP seem so willing to engage in. She didn't put her name forward to be Leader after Murphy's exit because she didn't command enough support and knew she wasn't up to the job. When are we going to get some real leadership - we need good mobile phone coverage, superfast broadband and jobs for young people!

    Report this comment

    pig in trough

    Thursday, March 28, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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