Mobile phone owners in rural England could get money off their bills, at least if a new campaign by the Countryside Alliance is a success.
The rural affairs group has claimed that it’s unfair for people in rural areas to pay the same as those in larger cities for mobile contracts, yet receive a worse service because of lower signal strength. As such, it has created a campaign to see exactly how strong the mobile signals are in certain areas.
This scheme has been running for almost a year, during which time mobile users in the countryside have been asked to log their typical reception. This is be done by downloading a free, dedicated smartphone app that monitors and records signal strength both at home and outside. This data is then to be forwarded to the Countryside Alliance.
Whilst the group has said its project is “still ongoing”, the eventual aim is to hand over this collated data to the government, in the hope that a solution to the issue can be agreed upon. This could come in one of two forms – either improvements to phone signals in the countryside or a discount for those who have lower-than-average reception.
Commenting on the reasons behind the scheme, head of policy at the Countryside Alliance, Sarah Lee told countryside-alliance.org: “For far too long rural communities have been treated like second class citizens when it comes to mobile and broadband.
“With a general election next year the government needs to remember that digital connectivity will be an important issue for rural voters.”