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Mobile Phone Coverage

Volume 593: debated on Thursday 26 February 2015

As you know, Mr Speaker, improving mobile coverage is a priority for the Government. Thanks to the Secretary of State’s negotiations with the mobile operators, we have reached a legally binding agreement with them. Under that agreement, not spots in the hon. Gentleman’s constituency will fall from 5.4% to just 1.3%.

Mobile coverage in Wrexham is not super. After five years of this Government, businesses and individuals in Wrexham town centre complain constantly about this issue. I am surprised that the Secretary of State did not reply on this, because he heard about it in Wrexham recently. Why have this Government failed?

It is certainly true that the Secretary of State met the brilliant local campaigner in Wrexham, Andrew Atkinson, and had long discussions with him about improving mobile coverage. If the hon. Gentleman wants to support Mr Atkinson’s campaign to improve mobile coverage, he is welcome to do so.

11. I may be wrong, but I believe I glimpsed the Minister in my constituency—on a mini-digger and endangering a cabinet that was about to be upgraded. While he was there, did he get any information about the timeliness of the roll-out of broadband in Wales, given that the Government have contributed £57 million to the project? (907751)

I was indeed in Brecon. Our rural broadband programme is so important that it is a case of all hands to the pump. I was happy to get on a mini-digger and help to get my hon. Friend’s constituency more superfast-connected.

In my Ynys Môn constituency, 2G is poor, 3G is patchy and 4G is non-existent; yet my constituents pay exactly the same contract prices as people who have full coverage in cities. Does the Minister agree that there should be some sort of differential on contract prices for, or even a rebate from, companies that do not provide a full service?

We have the fastest roll-out and the fastest take-up of 4G anywhere in the world. The contract between a customer and the mobile phone company is a matter for them, and it is a matter for consumer law, rather than for the telecoms roll-out.