Connecting Carmarthenshire was on the agenda in Parliament this week as local MP Jonathan Edwards met with a range of mobile phone giants to discuss the roll out of improved signal coverage across his Carmarthen East and Dinefwr constituency.
In a series of meetings this week in London the Plaid Cymru MP met with representatives of mobile operators EE, Vodafone and Three.
The 'Connecting Carmarthenshire' efforts from Jonathan Edwards and Assembly Member Adam Price has led to a number of communities seeing their connectivity improved, but there remains a number of 'notspot' communities across the county.
Member of Parliament Jonathan Edwards received comprehensive briefings from the mobile operators, assessing how coverage has improved in recent months and years, as well as studying the plans the mobile giants have to invest and improve signals further.
In January this year, mobile operator EE was awarded the Home Office contract to deliver a mobile network as part of the Government's Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme – a voice a broadband communication system for the police, ambulance and fire and rescue emergency services to use.
At the time, Mr Edwards and Adam Price called for the additional infrastructure to be open for use by all networks in order to boost mobile coverage for all consumers. Mr Edwards received confirmation that that would be the case during his meetings this week.
Jonathan Edwards MP said:
"In many respects the pace of mobile signal improvements have felt slow, but when we look back at how things have improved over the last 2 years there has been a vast increase in coverage right across the constituency. This is, of course, despite the Westminster Government stopping funding for its failed flagship policy of building more masts.
"I was delighted to learn about the plans operators have to improve their coverage in Carmarthenshire. Perhaps the biggest job will be increasing the infrastructure to host the Emergency Service Network, where EE and the Westminster Government propose to build over 500 new mast sites across the UK.
"Back in January Adam Price and I called for that new infrastructure to be open for use by all mobile operators in order for all companies to have the opportunity to boost their local coverage. I am delighted to have received confirmation this week that all network providers will indeed be able to do that.
"Due to commercial sensitivities, I am unable to publish the future plans from the three operators, but if any resident would like to raise with me a specific issue about coverage in their area I will be able to get them a direct response from the network provider.
"We've come a long way in a short space of time, with more communities receiving mobile phone signal than ever before. But our work to properly connect Carmarthenshire will continue."
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