Vodafone has expanded its 4G mobile coverage to the rural community of Longnor in the Peak District, as the second UK site to go live under the new UK Shared Rural Network initiative.
Vodafone is extending its 4G coverage in Longnor using an existing O2 site. Longnor follows Devauden in the Wye Valley, which last month became the first rural community to receive additional coverage as part of the Shared Rural Network (SRN), thanks to O2 and Vodafone working together to bring coverage to remote UK communities.
The SRN is a £1bn joint initiative between Government and the UK’s four mobile network operators, which will extend overall 4G coverage to 95% of the UK landmass and build on the multi-billion pound investment Vodafone has already made to bring 4G coverage to 99% of UK premises.
The programme aims to use mast sharing on existing sites in rural areas where some but not all providers have coverage. It also plans to build new, shared masts to connect areas that currently have no coverage at all.
Karen Bradley, MP for Staffordshire Moorlands, said: “Bringing better connectivity to the Moorlands is something I have worked hard to deliver so I am delighted that Vodafone has made this investment in 4G in Longnor. This is only the second place in the UK to benefit from the Shared Rural Network.
“It will mean better connectivity and data coverage for many people living in and around the village and, of course, benefit the many tourists that this beautiful part of the country attracts.”
Scott Petty, Chief Technology Officer, Vodafone UK, said: “The cost of connecting rural hard-to-reach parts of the country has meant that some communities don’t have a choice of network providers. The Shared Rural Network initiative changes that.
“We have been able to work closely with O2 to use their existing site to provide additional 4G coverage for Longnor. This will mean we can give people living and working in remote locations across the UK a choice of networks, and that a rural postcode is no longer a barrier to connectivity.”