National Park ramblers to get 4G boost

Phone operators plan raft of improved services in protected rural areas

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The Independent Online

England’s National Parks have announced a new deal to boost mobile broadband internet connectivity in some of the most remote landscapes. 

Phone operators plan to offer a raft of improved services including 4G roll-out in protected rural areas following an agreement between National Parks England and the four main networks.

The accord, signed with EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three, will mean a “small number” of new masts, although operators said these would be carefully designed to minimise the impact on the environment.

Paul Hamblin, director of National Parks England, which represents the 10 authorities including the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District, said the move would benefit those who lived and worked in the parks as well as visitors, whilst retaining the unique sense of peace and quiet.

He said: “The tranquillity found in National Parks is very important… What this is about is ensuring that residents and businesses can operate well in the National Parks.”

A rescue spokesman warned today that mobile phones can also run out of charge as well as connectivity.

National Parks cover 10 per cent of England and nine in 10 small businesses said a mobile phone was essential.