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BIG Says We Should Roam Free

04 November 2016 | Updated 01 January 1970

The British Infrastructure Group of MPs (BIG) champions better infrastructure across the United Kingdom. A report has investigated how the Government can improve mobile coverage for the millions of UK customers who receive inadequate service.

In 2014, the Government pursued a £5 billion investment agreement with the four main Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to improve mobile coverage in the UK. However, the MNOs are unlikely to achieve the targets of this agreement by the stated deadline of December 2017, says the report which goes on to say:

Although the British mobile communications sector has flourished through sustained private sector investment, comparing favourably with EU markets in terms of service costs and technological advances, visitors to Britain have consistently enjoyed better and broader mobile coverage. Whereas British consumers remain stuck with a single provider, international SIM cards roam between different networks. This is a bad call for connectivity in Britain.

Instead, this report takes a second look at the costs and benefits of national roaming, and urges the Government to reconsider this approach on a smaller scale, in areas severely affected by ‘not spots’. In light of Ofcom recently fining Vodafone £4.6 million for breaching consumer protection rules, the treatment of mobile consumers requires greater scrutiny.

This BIG report also urges the passage of the Digital Economy Bill, to kick start much-needed reforms to the Electronic Communications Code and to provide Ofcom with the ability to ensure that mobile operators become accountable to consumers. Britain is yet to achieve mobile coverage for all. The Government must rethink which policies are the best call for Britain.

Picture: The report urges the Government to reconsider the benefits of national roaming in areas severely affected by ‘not spots’

List of the members of The British Infrastructure Group of MPs

The Rt. Hon Grant Shapps MP Welwyn Hatfield

Johnny Mercer MP Plymouth Moor View

Peter Heaton-Jones MP North Devon

James Heappey MP Wells

Flick Drummond MP Portsmouth South

Charlie Elphicke MP Dover

Mark Pritchard MP The Wrekin

Jim Shannon MP Strangford

Steve Double MP St Austell and Newquay

Michael Tomlinson MP Mid Dorset and North Poole

Dr Andrew Murrison MP South West Wiltshire

Daniel Kawczynski MP Shrewsbury and Atcham

Heidi Allen MP South Cambridgeshire

Ian Blackford MP Ross, Skye and Lochaber

Jonathan Lord MP Woking

Dr Tania Mathias MP Twickenham

Henry Smith MP Crawley

Jonathan Djanogly MP Huntingdon

Mike Wood MP Dudley South

Byron Davies MP Gower

The Rt. Hon Cheryl Gillan MP Chesham and Amersham

Kelly Tolhurst MP Rochester and Strood

Sir Edward Garnier MP Harborough, Oadby and Wigston

Mark Menzies MP Fylde

Andrew Bingham MP High Peak

Maria Caulfield MP Lewes

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP Totnes

Ian Murray MP Edinburgh South

The Rt. Hon Desmond Swayne MP New Forest West

Jeremy Lefroy MP Stafford

Ian Paisley MP North Antrim

Anne Marie Morris MP Newton Abbot

Karen Buck MP Westminster North

Chris Bryant MP The Rhondda

Philip Davies MP Shipley

Jacob Rees-Mogg MP North East Somerset

Adam Holloway MP Gravesham

Nic Dakin MP Scunthorpe

Hywel Williams MP Arfon

Martin Docherty-Hughes MP West Dumbartonshire

David Warburton MP Somerton and Frome

Jake Berry MP Rossendale and Darwen3

Sammy Wilson MP East Antrim

Vernon Coaker MP Gedling

Nigel Huddleston MP Mid Worcestershire

Chris Davies MP Brecon and Radnorshire

Scott Mann MP North Cornwall

Ben Howlett MP Bath

Royston Smith MP Southampton Itchen

Sir Henry Bellingham MP North West Norfolk

Simon Hart MP Carmarthen West and South


Ian Liddell-Grainger MP Bridgwater and West Somerset

Mike Freer MP Finchley and Golders Green

Martyn Day MP Linlithgow and East Falkirk

Richard Drax MP South Dorset

Jim Fitzpatrick MP Poplar and Limehouse

Nigel Evans MP Ribble Valley

The Rt. Hon. Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP Lagan Valley

Dr James Davies MP Vale of Clwyd/Dyffryn Clwyd

Charlotte Leslie MP Bristol North West

The Rt. Hon David Davies MP Monmouth

Tom Elliott MP Fermanagh and South Tyrone

Gordon Henderson MP Sittingbourne and Sheppey

Ann Coffey MP Stockport

David Mackintosh MP Northampton South

Rosie Cooper MP West Lancashire

The Rt. Hon Sir Greg Knight MP East Yorkshire

Huw Merriman MP Bexhill and Battle

David Burrowes MP Enfield Southgate

Helen Grant MP Maidstone and The Weald

The Rt. Hon Alistair Burt MP North East Bedfordshire

Adam Afriyie MP Windsor

Sir Gerald Howarth MP Aldershot

Stephen Crabb MP Preseli Pembrokeshire

John Howell MP Henley

Tom Blenkinsop MP Middlesbrough South and East


Sir Roger Gale MP North Thanet

Bernard Jenkin MP Harwich and North Essex

Marcus Fysh MP Yeovil

Lucy Allan MP Telford

Andrea Jenkyns MP Morley and Outwood

Nusrat Ghani MP Wealden

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP The Cotswolds

Graham Evans MP Weaver Vale

Dr Alasdair McDonnell MP Belfast South

Anne Main MP St Albans4

Peter Aldous MP Waveney

Stephen Hammond MP Wimbledon

The Rt. Hon Caroline Flint MP Don Valley

Mark Williams MP Ceredigion5


Article written by Robin Snow | Published 04 November 2016


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