MP Liz Saville Roberts is calling for the roll-out of EAS masts to eliminate mobile not-spots in Dwyfor Meirionnydd, saying people living in rural areas have waited long enough for improvements to network coverage.
Fourteen new EAS masts are being erected across Dwyfor Meirionnydd, which, once live, will provide crucial emergency services and 4G network coverage, significantly improving mobile signal in areas with no or very limited mobile signal. Nine have already been completed and are awaiting connection to the electricity grid. Mrs Saville Roberts is urging the Home Office to bring forward the dates they will go live.
Masts completed and awaiting connection to the electricity grid include Mallwyd, Penmaenpool, Rhosygwalia, Llanymawddwy, Dolgellau, Llanbedr, Beddgelert, Bryncrug, and Nant Gwynant, but they are not expected to be switched on until 2024. The infrastructure is part of the Shared Rural Network (SRN) programme between the UK Government and the UK’s four mobile network operators, which will see 4G coverage boosted across Wales.
The MP said: “The lack of a reliable mobile phone signal has long been an issue for many residents, businesses and visitors in rural Dwyfor Meirionnydd, which suffers disproportionally when it comes to inadequate mobile connectivity.
“I have long campaigned to improve mobile phone coverage in my rural constituency but despite significant progress, there remains too many areas where access to a reliable mobile phone signal is non-existent.
“While I welcome a renewed commitment to expand the Shared Rural Network programme through the installation of 14 masts across Dwyfor Meirionnydd, the roll-out must be delivered at pace.
“Nine of these sites have long been built yet remain unconnected to the power supply with an estimated connection date towards the latter part of 2024. The sites in question represent areas where mobile coverage is largely non-existent.
“This delay is depriving local communities of access to a reliable phone service and further entrenching digital exclusion. Progress is vital if we are to enable these areas to fully access digital life.
“I urge both the Home Office and Department for Culture Media and Sport to work with their partners on the ground to get these sites up and running without further delay, connect those already built to the local power supply and renew efforts to better connect our most rural of communities.”