Research has shown that rural mobile phone users less happy with the service they get than those in urban areas.
An Ofcom report based on independent research showed that 78 per cent of those living in areas described as urban were satisfied with the service they received from their mobile phone network provider, compared to 67 per cent of people in rural areas. The rural-based respondents also reported experiencing a higher number of failed calls.
Sarah Lee, head of policy for the Countryside Alliance, said, “We welcome this report. The results show that people living in the countryside do not get the same level of service as those in towns and cities, an issue we regularly highlight. Some of data used by Ofcom was provided by RootMetrics and builds on the work done by our members with that company to map the reality of rural reception.”
She went on, “The agreement from the four mobile phone service providers to develop a common methodology for rating phone service will create a very useful tool for consumers, allowing them to work out which network would give them the best service depending on where they live. And the companies’ promise to match O2’s pledge to deliver a 4G service to 98 per cent of the population is also very good news.”
Despite this, rural enterprises have been left out of a government initiative designed to improve broadband for small businesses. ‘Broadband Connection Vouchers’ will allow businesses in 22 cities to apply for up to £3,000 to upgrade their broadband connection. the Countryside Alliance has called this a ‘missed opportunity’ to assist rural businesses.
Sarah Lee said, “Government figures show there are more businesses per head of population in rural areas, so it is disappointing that they cannot also take advantage of this scheme.
“Superfast broadband will bring great benefits to businesses and we would encourage any small firm to take up this fantastic opportunity, but it should not be the preserve of those who live or work in cities.”