Homes and businesses in rural parts of North Yorkshire (England) look set to benefit from improved 4G network coverage after the county council awarded a £1m contract to wireless infrastructure firm Arqiva, which will be tasked with identifying the best locations for new masts and building them.
The council claims that several locations in North Yorkshire currently have no 4G coverage from any operator, although rather annoyingly they’ve chosen not to name these. Nevertheless Arqiva will be expected to have completed the new sites by March 2020, ready for O2, Three UK, Vodafone and / or EE to use.
Funding for the work comes from the Government’s Local Growth Fund grant, which was secured by the council through the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership (YNYER LEP). The successful firm will have access to grant funds as and when a suitable mast site is identified and a mobile network operator agrees to provide services from that site.
Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said:
“This contract represents a significant step forward in our efforts to expand more widely high-quality mobile phone coverage for residents and businesses. We already have a good relationship with mobile network operators and have been commended nationally on our forward-thinking approach.
Strong mobile coverage is an important element of our support for maintaining and creating successful, thriving communities in all parts of North Yorkshire.”
Building new masts is not an easy task and many such projects have faced delays due to problems with planning permission and gaining access to a good power supply or data connection (i.e. with ultrafast 5G wireless broadband on the way many operators prefer to have an optical fibre line to link their sites).