Begley welcomes funding package to improve rural mobile coverage
Sinn Féin’s Órfhlaith Begley has welcomed confirmation of a significant funding package to improve mobile phone coverage in rural parts of West Tyrone.
The West Tyrone candidate said:
“I led a party delegation that met with Vanessa Higham, Government Affairs Manager of Vodafone to discuss wider plans for improving provision in the many ‘notspots’ in West Tyrone.
“At the meeting it was confirmed that a Shared Rural Network has now been put in place with Vodafone being joined by 3 other main providers: O2; EE and 3 in a €1.3bn partnership with government with the aim of providing 95% 4G coverage in ‘notspots’.
“The project is now in its final stages of sign-off with work on the ground scheduled to start next year with working groups being set up to plan and prioritise the roll-out of the Rural Network Initiative.
“Sinn Féin will submit a response to this working group on the basis that postcodes, many of which are in this constituency have little or no network coverage and should therefore be given priority.
“We made the case strongly that the north has proportionately more ‘notspots’ than other regions with rural areas of West Tyrone and west of the Bann being particularly affected.
“Sinn Féin pressed the case strongly that Vodafone along with other providers should prioritise the roll-out of the initiative in the north with first priority being given to worst ‘not spot’ areas.”