Local politicians Jonathan Edwards MP and Adam Price AM have this week urged mobile phone giants to take the opportunities now available through new superfast broadband cabinets to provide greater mobile phone signals across Carmarthenshire.
In a recent meeting Mr Edwards held with BT to discuss progress with rolling out superfast internet, the Plaid Cymru MP learned of the FTTC GEA Street Access technology – a way in which mobile operators can connect to broadband cabinets in order to provide a 4G mobile signal within a one mile radius. Mr Edwards says such actions could bring dramatic improvements to mobile signals across the county.
His recently elected Assembly Member colleague, Adam Price, has since said mobile operators should install the new technology as soon as possible after the internet cabinets have been upgraded.
The Carmarthen East and Dinefwr politicians have now written to mobile phone giants O2, EE, Vodafone and Three, in order to promote the “strong case” which exists for using the technology.
Jonathan Edwards MP said:
“My meeting with BT was to discuss the roll out of superfast broadband throughout the constituency. Whilst a number of communities are starting to benefit from high speed internet it seems rural Carmarthenshire – with superfast available to just 50.7% of properties – is lagging behind the rest of Wales where superfast is available to 84.9% of properties.
“I am, however, encouraged by the clear plans which exist to increase the availability of Superfast over the coming weeks and months.
“During the meeting I was made aware of the Street Access technology which enables mobile phone companies to connect antennae equipment to upgraded broadband boxes and provide a 4G mobile signal within a one miles radius.
“This is another tool for the project of properly connecting Carmarthenshire. It’s vital we take full advantage of this technology.”
Adam Price AM added:
“There appears to be a fantastic opportunity for mobile phone providers to utilise the upgraded infrastructure to provide improved, and in some cases, the first mobile phone signal for many communities. It would make sense to install the new technology as soon as possible after the upgrades.
“I’d like to see an urgent assessment of how many mobile operators are taking advantage of this technology, and what their plans are to deliver vastly improved mobile signals to some of our most rural areas.
“With that in mind I have this week written to the mobile giants to promote the strong case for using this technology and have sought their plans for increasing mobile coverage throughout the constituency.”