Church Eaton Mobile Phone Update
Church Eaton does not have adequate mobile phone reception from any of the carriers and has been a common cause of complaint from the residents of the parish. Some of the areas on the outskirts of the parish have better coverage, Marston for instance, but this is still limited indoors. When individuals contacted their providers, the poor coverage was often blamed on older devices or other factors and it was felt that the complaints were not taken seriously.
In the Spring of 2021 the Parish Council ran a survery and over 50 residents fed back the quality of their mobile phone signal in doors and outdoors. Across the board this was worse than the Ofcom map said it should be. The results were aggregated on behalf of the Parish.
- The results were shared with Ofcom who were asked to update their details as the maps they had did not reflect the realilty of the situation. Ofcom data is used for a variety of purposes, including improvement initiatives.
- The data was shared with each of the mobile phone carriers (we distinguish "carrier" as the company providing the infrastructure and "company" as the person with whom you may have a contract, often these are the same such as Vodafone, and sometimes different, such as BT Mobile which uses EE as the carrier).
- The data was also shared with the Superfast Staffordshire Programme who provided details of a survey being run by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). You can participate in this survey by following the link shown lower on this page.
- So far, O2 have responded and called the Parish Council to discuss the findings. They use mathematical models to estimate signal strength and were somewhat surprised to hear the results were as poor as the survey results indicate. They have agreed to pass the issue to the appropriate team within O2 for further investigation and stated that they can look into installing a new mast, if a suitable location is available.
- EE have responded, saying that there should be 4G signal outdoors but acknowledging that the inside coverage would be variable. Our comments have been passed th their Technical Department.
- O2 have in parallel shared preliminary planning applications to provide a mobile phone mast on the outskirts of Church Eaton. Their aim is to get a useable indoor signal suitable for data, and if this goes ahead it would significantly increase all aspects of reception in the area.
- It should be noted that each of the carriers work in relative isolation and if for instance O2 did build the new mast, while this would improve the reception for any company using the O2 network, it would not make any difference to the other networks. It should however provide 999 coverage for all mobile phones as this is a pooled facility.
- The Parish Council will continue to pursue these and other options to their conclusion.
In parallel, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) are starting a nationwide consultation on the impact of mobile coverage in rural areas. This is part of their Shared Rural Network programme which aims to increase mobile network coverage across the UK to 95%. They now want to find out how this programme can help you in your daily life.
To participate use this link: https://dcms.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_7QWTy9OUU4PNnmK.
Alternatively you can email Laura.Hensel@dcms.gov.uk to request to complete the survey over the telephone.
We will update this page as further progress is made.
24 July 2021
The Parish Council have now received a Pre-application consultation proposed telecoms installation CTIL_3007610 Grass Verge of Woolaston Lane. If this goes ahead then this will significantly improve phone reception, including indoor, for those on the O2 network and possibly Vodafone under a joint agreement they have.
18 Aug 2021
The Parish Council understand that planning has been granted for the mast. We are seeking information as to when work may start but we are advised that these things are typically reasonably quick.
2 Feb 2022