Shared Rural Network

SRN delivers new 4G coverage across four Nations

22 February 2024: The Shared Rural Network has already delivered substantial improvements to mobile coverage across the UK.

Since the programme was agreed in 2020, parts of the country totalling over 2000 square miles – equivalent in size to the counties of Cheshire and Lancashire combined – that were previously without 4G are now covered by at least one operator. Even more significantly, areas adding to almost 5,000 square miles – or 60% the size of Wales – now have coverage from all four operators, having previously been covered by none or just some.

New coverage is being delivered all the time. Since the start of the year, operators have announced progress in North Yorkshire, The Isle of Skye, Shetland and others. This mobile coverage makes a real difference for people working, living or travelling in and to rural areas. 

Whether it’s to power agritech, monitor wildlife, work on the move, tackle loneliness or make a life saving emergency call, this new coverage would not have been delivered without the UK government, the telecoms regulator Ofcom and the mobile operators working together to meet the objectives of the Shared Rural Network. 

In the context of national lockdowns, the need to navigate the post-Brexit state subsidy regime and cost challenges, working collaboratively remains critical to successful delivery.

Work continues to extend 4G coverage across more rural areas of the UK. This vital coverage can only be delivered with the support of planning authorities and local communities to build the necessary infrastructure. The ongoing national skills shortage of planners remains a challenge that is impacting infrastructure projects.


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