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Rural Broadband and Mobile Coverage
Andrew has long campaigned for broadband access and improved speeds in Brigg & Goole and the Isle of Axholme. In 2013 the Government agreed to fund a roll-out of superfast broadband to rural areas and the roll-out has commenced.
In the first phase of the project the Government, East Riding and North Lincolnshire Councils and BT are providing funding worth a total of over £23m to roll-out superfast broadband to more than 90% of the East Riding and Northern Lincs. Andrew has lobbied for extra money along the way to ensure the project's success. Andrew's lobbying of Ministers secured over £1.6m extra for the project.
The first phase of the roll-out is due to complete in 2015. Superfast broadband can now be accessed in most homes in Goole, Snaith, Rawcliffe, Winterton, Epworth, Burton, Brigg, Broughton and Snaith.
It has not been possible to contact every home for a variety of technical and cost-related reasons. Andrew lobbied Ministers for action to ensure these homes are looked at again. Last year the Government announced £1.18m of investment for Northern Lincolnshire and £5m for the East Riding to extend the project to 2017. The extension means over 95% of residents should be able to access superfast broadband.
The Government has also funded a wireless solution by local wireless provider, Quickline.
We will know more about which areas will be covered by the extended roll-out later in 2015. This page will be updated when further plans are finalised.
You can check whether you're able to upgrade to superfast broadband at http://gosuperfastchecker.culture.gov.uk/
Andrew is campaigning for increased mobile phone coverage in across the East Riding and North Lincolnshire parts of his constituency following concerns from local residents about patchy coverage. He is campaigning on mobile coverage because he believes rural residents are at a distinct coverage disadvantage compared to urban cities, despite paying the same prices.
Andrew has met with the major mobile providers: O2, Vodafone, Three, and Everything Everywhere to discuss 2G, 3G and the potential for any 4G coverage in Brigg & Goole and the Isle of Axholme. The main mobile operators are responsible for the majority of the UK's mobile network infrastructure, including services from Tesco, Asda and Virgin mobile.
Andrew lobbied the Government for action and at the start of 2015 a legally binding agreement was made with the mobile networks. The agreement means 90% of the UK's geographic area should have mobile call coverage, an investment by the networks worth £5bn.
Andrew has surveyed thousands of local residents to help him gain a better idea of where the mobile problem spots are locally. He will now use this data to press the mobile networks to spend our fair share of the £5bn improving local coverage.