Mobile phone campaign

The Liberal Democrats are continuing to campaign for the rights of North Dorset residents to enjoy a good level of public services. As well as campaigning against the recent savage level of proposed cuts by the Conservative-controlled Dorset County Council, in both Youth Centres and rural bus services, we have now introduced a bill to give customers more power against the mobile network providers.

Poor mobile phone coverage treats people in rural areas like second class citizens, and the Bill introduced to Parliament calls on companies to be fined for not providing adequate network coverage.The Bill will give consumers the right to break contracts with mobile phone companies if network coverage in their area is not sufficient. Liberal Democrats have long argued for rural communities, such as North Dorset, to be treated equally, and improved network coverage is essential to that aim.

The Government signed a deal with the big four mobile phone companies to provide network coverage to 85 per cent of the UK by 2017: the success of that aim is in doubt, with so many rural areas suffering from poor coverage. It is time for the Government to stop treating rural communities as second class citizens, and to provide better network coverage across the whole of the UK.

The Government's blatant  urban bias is stifling rural economic growth and isolating millions of people from basic services. Customers need to be able to vote with their feet and cancel contracts where network coverage is poor. Or we risk having  a new class of haves and have nots: those who have signal and those who do not!