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Vodafone connects first community under Shared Rural Network

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Vodafone says the Welsh village of Devauden is the first place to receive new 4G coverage under the government-backed £1 billion Shared Rural Network programme.

The scheme aims to make 4G available across 95% of the UK’s landmass by 2025.

Following a deal agreed earlier this year, the UK’s four major operators – EE, O2, Three and Vodafone – will invest £530 million in partial not-spot areas, where there's coverage from at least one but not all mobile operators. The government will provide £500 million of funding for new infrastructure to eliminate total not-spots.

Vodafone is the first of the operators to take advantage of the project, connecting Devauden to its 4G service.

Industry effort

Nick Jeffery, Vodafone UK's Chief Executive Officer, said, “Everyone should have mobile coverage, and everyone should have the benefit of a choice of networks.

“It is great that the industry has come together to improve coverage across the UK, and I’m proud that we’re leading the way. Our engineering team has done a great job in getting our coverage on to this site, despite the limitations of lockdown.”

Lee Waters MS, Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport, added, “The ability to be connected wherever you are is becoming increasingly important, no more so than under the current circumstances.

“To have the first site-sharing deal in the UK under the Shared Rural Network initiative in rural Wales is fantastic. People living in and around Devauden will now have greater choice about which provider they choose and it will help support local businesses.”