The end of mobile phone ‘not spots’? Ministers propose new power to fine companies millions –

Instead, ministers plan to give the regulator powers to fine a company up to 10 per cent of its “relevant gross revenue”. Vodafone Group’s total revenue last year was £41bn. 

Matt Hancock, the digital and culture minister, said: “In the digital age, getting a mobile signal is not a nice to have but a critical part of modern life. It’s vital for the economy as well as personal calls, texts and web browsing. 

“The mobile operators have signed up to legally binding obligations to deliver coverage to at least nine tenths of Britain. This new legislation will mean the Government can ensure their commitments are delivered.”

A source at the Culture Department said: “We all understand the frustrations of not being able to get mobile signal in remote parts of the country.

“We’re glad phone companies are tackling not spots, but this will help hold them to account for the pledges they have made.”

MPs are expected to vote through the Digital Economy Bill, which contains the changes, given frustration at the lack of connectivity in rural Britain is widespread across the House of Commons.

Grant Shapps, the former Tory chairman who heads up the British Infrastructure Group [BIG] of MPs, said “action to end the scourge of not-spots is welcome”. 

He added: “Now the government proposes giving the regulator this power, we believe it would be important that they are prepared to use it.

“BIG is alarmed by the lack of coverage that remains, particularly in rural areas, where not spots are all too frequent. If this new move isn’t a success then more radical solutions will be required.”


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