‘More ammunition’ needed in battle to improve mobile phone coverage

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

Residents’ feedback could be the key to getting better mobile phone coverage in and around Storrington.

Storrington and Sullington Parish Council, together with Washington Parish Council, are trying to address the problem of poor and erratic mobile signals in their villages.

A statement from Storrington and Sullington Parish Council said: “Apart from the obvious concerns of not being able to make or receive calls, wider issues have become apparent with the lack of mobile signal having been one of the main reasons why the Storrington Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) trial did not provide the information that had been hoped for, so is not being taken forward, and one resident having reported that lack of a signal had prevented the installation of a smart meter.”

The councils have approached Ofcom, which said it would ‘attempt to schedule in some testing in Storrington over the coming months to compare measured coverage with the prediction from the mobile operators’.

Testing is due to take place later this year.

The statement adds: “To be able to build pressure on Ofcom, the Government and the mobile network providers, residents who have not already done so are requested to complete the online feedback form on the Storrington and Sullington Parish Council website (www.storrington-pc.gov.uk) as the more responses received the more ammunition will be available.

“It only takes a couple of minutes. Any additional comments on issues such as those encountered with the LEZ trial and problems with Smart Meter installations would be most welcome and the Councils appreciate and thank residents for their support on this issue.”

Storrington resident and County Times columnist Alan Stainer, of Alan’s IT Solutions, commented: “As a small business owner I rely on my mobile phone to conduct business at home and while out seeing clients.

“Unfortunately the signal strength is virtually non-existent most of the time and there are so many black spots round here that don’t receive any signal at all, I know I miss calls as a result.

“Responding to emails is just not possible without WiFi, as there is never a strong enough signal to get a data connection. It makes everything so much harder than it should be.”

Apart from reporting isues on the parish council website, Alan recommends using a mobile phone app such as OpenSignal, which shows you the signal strengths of various network providers, and the location of nearby WiFi hubs and cell towers.

It also feeds users’ data back to a central database, which is used to provide reports for operators and regulators.

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