New rules to improve mobile service

Rural mobile users could find it easier to get connected in future, thanks to government reforms that have just come into force.

The changes to the Electronic Communications Code (EEC) were announced in October and will have profound effects on the way that mobile communications infrastructure will be deployed. The new rules will help counter the criticism of the country’s mobile infrastructure that was sent to Ofcom by the National Infrastructure Commission.

Under the new regulations, telecoms operators will pay reduced rents for installation of equipment to landowners. The charges will be more in line with the charged made to utilities providers.

In addition, it will now be easier for operators to share their infrastructure with other providers, helping to increase coverage and reduce costs. Further changes will include a simplified disputes procedure.

Digital revolution

The minister for digital Matt Hancock said: "The laws that we've brought into force today strike another blow to diminish the digital divide. Improving mobile and broadband services for people struggling with poor connections is a top priority for us - we want everyone to benefit from the digital revolution. Removing these outdated restrictions will help promote investment and give mobile operators more freedom to improve their networks in hard-to-reach places."