Countryside Alliance Executive Chairman Barney White-Spunner writes: Are you sick of ending every mobile conversation with “Hello, hello, are you still there?”. Then turn phone signal detective this summer to help us to lobby for better rural mobile phone services. We all pay the same to run our mobile phones, regardless of where we live. But rural businesses and individuals tell us they have a far poorer service.
Now we are searching for proof to ensure people living in the countryside are not forgotten by mobile phone companies and benefit from the Government’s £150m mobile phone infrastructure project.
All you have to do is download an app onto your smartphone or tablet which tests the strength of your signal and automatically records the result. Just go to the iTunes app store, or Google Play and download the free RootMetrics app.
Then please test the signal while you are out and about, as well as at home, in order to rapidly improve the information on the map of rural reception that we are compiling.
We need you to keep on testing over the summer and beyond, to ensure the data is as comprehensive as possible. The results will be combined with readings from others in your area to create a map showing which mobile operator is best in your part of the country. We will be putting the coverage map to communications companies as well as Parliamentarians, so your help is vital if we are to show the extent of bad coverage in the countryside. I have said before that it is possible to get better coverage in Helmand Province than in rural Dorset and for the sake of our families and rural businesses we need to do all we can to ensure their lot improves.
For further information on how to use the app and to see results so far please visit www.rootmetrics.com/uk/. NB Regrettably you cannot download the app onto a Blackberry.
Technical detail: We do not need you to test for signal and data, just signal.You will have the option of using single test or continuous test mode. If you choose single test mode, you will have to test manually each time. If you choose continuous test mode, your phone will automatically do tests all day long – wherever you are. However, if you choose signal and data this might use a lot of data and can therefore cost you. To be on the safe side, we recommend continuous testing for signal only and test data in the single test mode. It is important to still test if you have no signal as GPS locations can be determined without a network signal. The CrowdSource app will record the location as best it can, and if there is no coverage, or the signal is reported as OK, but the upload/download tests fail, then the test is stored and recorded and uploaded when the app is next run and can connect to the internet.
If you are visiting a country show this summer, for example the Great Yorkshire or the CLA Game Fair, our team will be happy to give you a demonstration of how the app works and how easy it is. Please visit our stand and ask for a demonstration!