Connecting Devon and Somerset’s scheme to improve indoor 4G mobile phone coverage in the region has been extended due to ongoing demand.
The Mobile Boost programme was due to close to new applications this month, but a £250,000 injection of additional funding through the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership’s (HotSWLEP) Growth Deal means it will now continue until March.
More than 1,200 homes and businesses across Devon, Somerset, Torbay and Plymouth have already benefited from the scheme.
Councillor Rufus Gilbert, CDS Board Member and Cabinet Member for Economic Recovery and Skills, said:
“This additional funding from the LEP is very welcome. It’s excellent news that this is enabling the Mobile Boost programme to continue for a bit longer. Anyone who has been considering applying for a voucher through the scheme should take this opportunity now.”
Councillor Mike Rigby, CDS Board Member and Somerset County Council Lead Member for Transport and Digital, said: “The Mobile Boost scheme has proven extremely popular and the extension of the scheme will enable more of that demand to be met for a few more months. Improving connectivity is vital in this day and age and this initiative has had a positive impact for businesses and residents in the region.”
Karl Tucker, Chair at the Heart of the South West LEP, said: “The Mobile Boost Scheme has been extremely successful at providing vital connectivity to rural communities in the Heart of the South West, and we’re delighted to be involved in supporting its extension. The Heart of the South West LEP believes in the importance of connecting local businesses through superfast broadband, and are eager to continue awarding funding to initiatives such as the Mobile Boost Scheme to maximise the scale of support available and aid economic growth across the region.”
The initiative offers vouchers worth up to £1,200 towards the cost of a mobile signal booster from a registered supplier. The value of the voucher is dependent on the type of technology most suitable for the premises and suppliers can advise on the three options of equipment that are available through the scheme – a 4G booster or two models of “signal repeaters” which repeat the outdoor signal indoors.
Applicants need to complete a form self-certifying that they cannot receive an adequate indoor 4G mobile signal before receiving an email voucher code. This can be used with one of the registered scheme suppliers that can be found on the Mobile Boost pages on the CDS website.
Anyone applying for the scheme will need to make a contribution to cover the cost of installation. Depending on which option is chosen, this ranges from a one-off fee from around £250 to a monthly fee for a SIM card (averaging around £30 a month).
It is down to the applicant to research which of the suppliers can install in their area, contacting the supplier directly to redeem the voucher and arranging to have the equipment installed at their premises