MP backs calls for mobile phone "roaming" in rural "not-spots"

Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid
Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid

The MP for Banff and Buchan has backed calls to require mobile providers give full coverage in rural areas.

David Duguid cosigned a letter to the Secretary of State of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport calling for Ofcom, the communications regulator, to consider the costs and benefits of mandatory roaming.

Roaming switches between providers when signal strength for one becomes too poor for use.

The Scottish Conservative MP said doing otherwise would be “hampering” the economic, educational and leisure opportunities in places like Angus.

He is regularly contacted by constituents asking when their area will receive a full mobile signal, often where broadband is unavailable.

Mr Duguid said: “In my constituency, there are frequent not-spots where one mobile phone provider can’t supply the service customers are paying for. Automatic switching between them to cover these areas is a no-brainer.

“Ofcom must consider the benefits of making this compulsory. Think of the time and money saved by local businesses, and the benefit to consumers.”

Kevin Hollingrake MP’s letter to Jeremy Wright states there is “a lack of coordination” between the network providers has left many rural areas covered by some but not all of them.

“This is hampering economic, educational and leisure opportunities for residents in rural areas and remains a significant brake on growth for the local, regional and national economy,” it adds.

“The introduction of roaming between networks will vastly increase the operational coverage for many of our constituents.”