Masts in sixteen rural communities in north Powys that struggle to get decent mobile phone signal are set to be activated by the end of 2024.
The Home Office has confirmed that planning approval has been completed for ‘not-spot’ sites which once live will provide crucial emergency services and 4G coverage.
They include: Y Fan; Old Hall (SY18); Hafren Forest; Manafon; Rhiwargor; Llangynog; Lake Wyrnwy; in Llanwddyn; Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant; Maengwynedd; Llanfyllin; Staylittle; Tregynon and Bettws Cedewain. Two further masts will also be built on sites at Aberhosan and Hirnant.
Craig Williams, Welsh Conservative MP for Montgomeryshire, said he is “delighted that excellent progress is being made” after he today (Thursday, November 24) received an update about installing new Extended Area Services (EAS) masts across north Powys.
“With the majority of new sites having now gained planning approval and legal access – as well as some site builds having already been completed – today represents a major step forward in eradicating mobile not-spots across our area once and for all,” he said .
“The Shared Rural Network program is further proof of the UK Government’s commitment to leveling up the digital playing field across Wales, particularly within rural and isolated areas. By 2024, many more of us within Montgomeryshire will have sweeping access to a fast and reliable 4G connection wherever we are.
“The hard work doesn’t stop here, and I will remain in continuous dialogue with both the Home Office and the Department for Culture, Media & Sport to ensure Montgomeryshire’s SRN rollout continues at pace.”
The infrastructure is part of the world-first Shared Rural Network (SRN) program between the UK Government and the UK’s four mobile network operators (MNOs), which will see 4G coverage boosted to 95% across Wales. The program will also allow rural residents to access competing mobile contracts, with coverage boosted for all major network providers.
Once mast builds are completed and powered, they will be transferred to EE for connection to the core network and activated for the Emergency Services Network. All MNOs will then have the opportunity to provide commercial services to the masts through the SRN program.