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Telecommunications mast South of Bainbridge

F4 – Mobile phone coverage

Provide basic mobile phone coverage across the National Park to reduce ‘not-spots’, and ensure 4G (or better) services are available on all networks in the 4 service ‘hubs’ and their surrounding ‘spoke’ settlements by 2021.

How the local partners are doing on this objective

4G services are available on at least 3 networks in each of the 4 main village ‘hubs’, and in 12 of the 20 ‘spoke’ settlements. The area of the Park with no mobile service dropped slightly from 22% to 21%. As reported last year, this small drop masks a very significant amount of action and investment, which will yield big improvements in future years. There are now more than 30 masts that have been constructed or granted planning permission and are awaiting installation. However, many of these are part of the nation-wide Emergency Services Network, and will not become active until the end of 2027 at the earliest.

Press releases & related articles:

1 July 2022 – Nine new mobile phones masts to bring 4G to Dales

9 February 2021 – Affordable homes and 5G mast approved

Rationale: Residents and visitors expect reliable, fast mobile communications and data services. The regulator may require lobbying in order to push providers to roll out services (and choice) into ‘not-spots’.  North Yorkshire County Council is assessing the extent of current provision and discussing with commercial operators how to achieve improvements in areas with challenging topography and poor coverage.

Lead partner:  North Yorkshire Council; Westmorland & Furness Council; Lancashire County Council;

Supporting partners:  York, North Yorkshire & East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership; Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership;

Further information:  North Yorkshire Mobile coverage; Mobile Access North Yorkshire

Cost over 5 years:  £2,000,000

Funding shortfall:   n/a

Related objectivesA4; E1; E2, E3; F1, F2; F3; F5; F7,

Ecosystem services:    None

Trade-offs:    To overcome ‘not-spots’ new or much bigger masts will be required.  Impacts on landscape character (A3) will be identified and moderated through the application of the policies set out in the Yorkshire Dales Local Plan.  Existing masts for emergency services use, have the flexibility to be shared by commercial operators to provide general network coverage.  Improvements to broadband coverage (E1) can also overcome issues with poor mobile network coverage through less visually intrusive infrastructure.

Baseline: 45% of the National Park was covered by ‘not-spots’ in March 2018.