The Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) project in England has received a further £250,000 of funding in order to extend their Mobile Boost Scheme, which works to improve rural 4G mobile (mobile broadband and voice) availability by offering vouchers (up to £1,200 ) to help deploy indoor mobile signal boosters.
The program, which is being funded through the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership’s (HotSWLEP) Growth Deal, is targeted at those premises which have no adequate access to indoor 4G coverage from any operator or only one operator. So far, more than 1,200 homes and businesses across have already benefited from this scheme (up from 900 in August 2022).
Businesses and residents that make use of this scheme, including those in Somerset, Devon, Torbay and Plymouth (South West England), are also required to make a modest contribution which, depending on the option chosen, will range from £250 for installation to a monthly fee for a SIM card (averaging c. £30 per month). This is because the main cost, as covered by the voucher, is largely related to the expensive hardware itself.
Karl Tucker, Chair at the Heart of the South West LEP, said:
“The Mobile Boost Scheme has been extremely successful in providing vital connectivity to rural communities in the Heart of the South West, and we’re delighted to be involved in supporting its extension. The Heart of the South West LEP believes in the importance of connecting local businesses through superfast broadband, and are eager to continue awarding funding to initiatives such as the Mobile Boost Scheme to maximize the scale of support available and aid economic growth across the region.”
Take note that three options of equipment are available through the scheme – either a 4G booster or two models of “signal repeaters” that repeat the outdoor signal indoors – and suppliers can advise on the most suitable in each case. But it is down to the applicant to research which of the suppliers can install in their area, contacting the supplier directly to redeem the voucher and arranging to have the equipment installed at their premises.