North Yorkshire village first to benefit from government rural mobile access drive

Homes and businesses in a rural North Yorkshire village have now got a mobile phone signal thanks to a £150 million government-funded scheme.

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Homes and businesses in a rural North Yorkshire village have now got a mobile phone signal thanks to a £150 million government-funded scheme.

The village of Weaverthorpe has now got access to mobile networks as a result of the scheme, with hundreds more rural communities set to follow.

The nationwide scheme to improve mobile coverage will deliver an estimated £340 million in economic benefits, according to the government.

The Mobile Infrastructure Programme will also mean that mobile users in remote areas can contact emergency services when needed.

Communications minister Ed Vaizey said: "For the first time these small, rural communities will enjoy the benefits of mobile phones that the rest of us take for granted."

The scheme sees the government provide the capital funding to enable comms provider Arqiva to build the necessary infrastructure. The four main mobile network operators (EE, Telefonica, Three and Vodafone) then provide coverage from the mobile sites and cover operating costs for the 20-year life of the project.

Arqiva identifies suitable sites, then acquires the rights to those sites and obtains planning permission, before beginning the physical rollout of infrastructure.

John Cresswell, CEO of Arqiva, said: "This is an important first step for the programme and demonstrates how investment in mobile infrastructure supports the economy, reduces the technological divide and benefits the social fabric of our regions and villages."