Whittlesey and Manea just some of the areas revealed in Cambridgeshire's top 20 worst connected areas
PUBLISHED: 15:57 31 December 2019 | UPDATED: 16:15 31 December 2019
Whittlesey, Soham, Ramsey, parts of March, Manea, Parson Drove, Littleport, Ely and Chatteris are in the top 20 of Cambridgeshire's worst connected areas for mobile phones.
The list - drawn up by Ofcom (the Office of Communications) - was referred to by Mayor James Palmer when he met four of the leading mobile network operators.
He said: "Good mobile coverage isn't a luxury, it's an everyday necessity and people should be able to connect whether they're in rural Ramsey Forty Foot or in our city centres."
He pledged to ensure Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are "at the forefront of the rollout.
"We can now make real progress by working with mobile operators, using the best available data to focus on priority locations, and leading the way with shared rural networks."
He was speaking after he had convened a meeting with Mobile UK and the four mobile network operators (EE, O2, Three, and Vodafone) together with business leaders and councillors "to achieve progress by collaborative action".
His aim, he said, was to find ways to improve mobile connectivity in some of the areas worst rural and town-centre 'notspots'.
Mayor Palmer believes the combined authority is leading the way with a collaborative initiative to solve the problem of poor coverage.
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He said: "The combined authority is tackling poor mobile coverage as part of its digital connectivity strategy, being delivered through the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme, led by Cambridgeshire County Council."
A 'top 20' list of locations where better mobile coverage from all four networks would benefit the economy and communities, has been identified by comparing detailed local surveys and the latest Ofcom data.
Hamish MacLeod, director at Mobile UK, the trade body for all four mobile operators said: "We welcome the clear message of collaboration to work together with Connecting Cambridgeshire and industry to enhance connectivity and coverage."
Businesses from a range of sectors across the area were also represented and offered their support for the initiative.
Juan Antonio Martinez Leon of G's Fresh Ltd, said: "Enabling 4G mobile connectivity is like putting a road in for agri-tech companies in Cambridgeshire, as a good underlying infrastructure is the basis to gain efficiencies and grow.
"We are keen to support this initiative which will bring benefits for businesses and our employees."
The list of poor performing areas includes Alconbury Weald - ironically where the county council is building its new headquarters.