Please find attached a briefing note ahead of the Westminster Hall Debate on “Mobile coverage in rural areas” (Neil Parish MP, Con, Tiverton and Honiton) on Wednesday 22 March, 16:00-16:30. 

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Mobile devices are a vital part of modern life and in the countryside mobile connectivity is just as essential, but nowhere near as available, as it is in urban areas. Coverage is patchy and can be unreliable, making life for families and businesses very difficult. Access to voice and data services is now essential for health and safety, agriculture, tourism and rural business.

Continued poor connectivity in rural areas represents a huge missed opportunity for economic development and these gaps and weaknesses need to be addressed as a priority. Coupled with reliable broadband, which is essential for competitive and successful enterprises in a growing digital economy. It is vital that rural communities and businesses have access to effective and affordable digital connectivity if the digital divide between rural and urban areas in the UK is not to grow any wider.