Shared Rural Network

The Total Not Spot (TNS) element of the Shared Rural Network is funded by the UK Government. Individual sites – or mobile masts – are the shared responsibility of the mobile network operators (EE, Three, Virgin Media O2 and Vodafone) and are being delivered by their respective suppliers, selected via a public procurement process.

To meet State Aid requirements and be eligible for grant funding, masts that form part of this element of the programme must deliver coverage to areas with no 4G coverage from any operator and a majority of them must also be located in areas with no 4G coverage.

These locations have been proposed to enable the mobile network operators to meet their licence obligations, as set out by Ofcom. The coverage targets are designed to support people wherever they are on the move, as well as connected devices, emergency service connectivity and rural activities and operations rather than fixed communities.

Developing a radio plan is an iterative process. Originally it was estimated that around 315 sites would be needed to meet coverage obligations. The current plan has 262 sites, but we aim to achieve the obligation with fewer sites. The below map shows the locations of these TNS sites and should be viewed with the following information in mind:

  • The map shows current proposed mast sites solely for the TNS element of the programme
  • The number of TNS sites is likely to reduce as more optimisation work is undertaken
  • Until site locations are finalised they may relocate or be removed from the plan as the programme progresses
  • Delivery is subject to achieving planning permission and agreements with land owners or landlords
  • The number of sites will change as the programme progresses. This could be due to planning refusal, failure of sites to deliver value for money, improvement in coverage delivered by other sites etc.
  • Most mobile masts deliver coverage to areas as part of a ‘cluster’. This means that a mast’s contribution to enabling coverage for other masts in its cluster (as a link into the wider mobile network) is factored into the rationale for its location, in addition to the individual coverage it provides.

Map correct as of 28 March 2024