Chancellor George Osborne vows better mobile phone coverage in Shropshire

Thousands more people will receive mobile phone coverage in Shropshire under plans to tackle poor mobile reception, Chancellor George Osborne pledged during a visit to the county.

Chancellor George Osborne vows better mobile phone coverage in Shropshire

Mr Osborne insisted a new agreement between the Government and the major mobile phone networks would see firms working together to dramatically improve reception in rural areas.

Speaking at a visit to a Shropshire factory, he said the county's economy was "on the right track" but said the job was "not yet done" and it could be further improved by boosting mobile phone and broadband connectivity.

His comments follow the Shropshire Star's Get Us Connected campaign, which saw a petition signed by more than 2,000 people presented to Parliament.

He said: "I think it is absolutely crucial to people in the rural areas of Shropshire that we have good mobile phone coverage.

"We have just been negotiating a deal with the mobile phone companies that will require them to improve their coverage in areas where there isn't very good mobile phone coverage, and we are paying for the expansion of superfast broadband into more and more rural areas so that no-one is left behind in this communications revolution.

"This is so important not just to families and the way they interact with each other but it is also important to businesses, so you can base a business anywhere in Shropshire and trade and communicate with the rest of the world.

"So it is really, really important for jobs that we have got both this broadband and mobile phone plan for Shropshire which is going to see more and more people connected in the county and across the country."

Mr Osborne was launching the Conservatives' 2015 General Election campaign at LVS Small Plastic Parts, at Stafford Park, Telford.

He was speaking after the Government announced the deal last month with EE, O2, Three and Vodafone that will aim to tackle poor signal issues in partial not-spots, including Shropshire, that have coverage from some but not all of the four mobile networks.

The agreement will see consumers and businesses benefit from £5 billion of investment into the UK's mobile infrastructure to tackle the poor mobile coverage that currently blights more than a fifth of the UK.

Speaking about the plans, Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski said: "I am delighted the Government and industry have come together to improve the service to those across the country, especially those in rural areas. There is still more to do but this is good progress."

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