Fat cat mobile phone companies want £600m from the government to cover country

Mobile phone companies make large profits. They do not want to spend their money on coverage, it goes to bonuses and dividends. They want all of us taxpayers to dig further into our pockets to provide them with bigger profits from wider coverage.

“Mobile operators want ministers to invest more than £600m to tackle poor phone signals in the countryside.

O2, Three UK, BT’s EE and Vodafone want backing for their plan to invest jointly in a single rural network that would give the four operators 95% coverage.

Only 66% of the country enjoys full coverage, so millions of people and thousands of businesses have to grapple with patchy signals or total black spots.

The mobile giants are willing to invest £533m to stamp out “partial not spots”, where one or more operators cannot provide a signal. That would bring national coverage up to 88% through a barter system, where they would share access to each other’s masts.

In return, they want the exchequer to foot the bill for 95% coverage. That includes spending about £620m over 20 years on areas with no signal, and £6m on opening up the Emergency Services Network used by police and ambulance workers.

Operators have told ministers those costs could fall by £90m if planning rules around issues such as mast heights were relaxed.”

Source: Sunday Times (pay wall)

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