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Progress in campaign for better mobile phone coverage across Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 19:00 07 March 2017

Kevin Hall, hTree UK's regional deployment consultant with South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge (right) at the improved Long Melford mast

Kevin Hall, hTree UK's regional deployment consultant with South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge (right) at the improved Long Melford mast

Archant

A campaign for better mobile phone coverage in some of the county’s worst-affected ‘not-spots’ is making considerable progress, according to one of the local MPs.

Poor coverage – particularly 3G signals which are vital for smartphone internet access – has been an ongoing problem in Suffolk.

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Last year, South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge launched a petition in Boxford, where there is no mobile phone signal in the village centre. It was signed by more than 3,700 people.

Boxford missed out on government funding to improve mobile telephone infrastructure under its Mobile Infrastructure Project. However, Telefonica submitted a successful application for a mobile phone base station on the Hadleigh Road, near Boxford, which should provide improved 2G, 3G and 4G signal in the village and surrounding areas including Thorrington Street and Calais Street.

Mr Cartlidge said: “We did a petition for better mobile signal – particularly for not-spots which have no signal at all – and I am pleased to say that there are some new masts coming forward.

“Boxford is one such example and I am particularly pleased to see that the physical mast structure has now been erected on the A1071 and hopefully will be providing signal within the next few months.

“We already have the mast in Hitcham and we are awaiting a planning update for the mast at Alton Water. Holbrook and Stutton is singularly the worst affected area of all within south Suffolk so fingers crossed on that, because it has not gone through yet.”

Elmsett near Ipswich is also a notorious not-spot and residents campaigned to save the village payphone because it was used so frequently by visitors and locals who could not get a signal.

But in January the application for a mast on land to the east of Potash Farm in Ipswich Road was withdrawn due to local opposition.

In addition to the new phone masts, Long Melford residents recently received an upgrade to their service.

Mr Cartlidge added: “The really important thing about what they are doing with the mast in Long Melford is that this is delivering low frequency signal which significantly boosts the coverage of the existing mast.

“It is strengthening the existing signal which should benefit people in Long Melford and Sudbury.”

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