Rory Stewart has warned that rural communities will "die out and disappear" if Ofcom fails to include provisions in the 4G spectrum auctions to deliver mobile broadband to remote areas of the UK.
The MP for Penrith and the Borders, one of the remotest constituencies in the UK, said that the regulator must not put the financial benefits of the auction ahead of the social advantages that 4G services can provide.
"This is Ofcom's last chance in a generation to give rural communities the help they need in getting access to broadband. We must make sure rural communities are not let down when it comes to accessing 4G or LTE services," he said.
"This auction must not be about Ofcom getting a quick and easy lump sum off the operators bidding for the rights to use this spectrum. It must be about Ofcom securing the future of rural communities, securing these communities' access to mobile broadband coverage."
Stewart has previously asked Ofcom to increase the coverage obligations on operators that win spectrum from 95 to 98 per cent, although spectrum experts have warned that doing so is not a simple change.
The MP was responding to the announcement that 16 homes and businesses in the village of Kaber in Cumbria are to be given access to the mobile internet thanks to work by the Rural Broadband Working Group (RBWG).
The RBWG is formed of Three, Race Online 2012 and the Countryside Alliance, and aims to provide people in remote areas with dongles or MiFi devices that allow access to Three's 3G network free of charge for a year.
The group has pledged to hook up 11 locations to the 3G networks, Kaber being the second to go live after the first project in Nottinghamshire in August.
Three chief executive Dave Dyson claimed that the RBWG's work is evidence of the power of mobile broadband to help close the UK's digital divide.
"If, after the auction next year, we are able to use some of the better propagating sub-1GHz spectrum for mobile broadband we would almost instantly be able to increase our indoor footprint to cover more than 98 per cent of the UK's population," he said.
"Not only will that help the government meet its universal service commitment of 2Mbit/s for every home, but it will help smaller rural businesses get started - or expand - so they can pump more money into the UK economy, benefiting everyone."
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