Prime minister David Cameron has said that the UK needs better planning laws to make it easier for masts to be deployed so that homes and businesses in remote areas can get decent mobile coverage.
Cameron said in the House of Commons on Wednesday that the UK still suffers poor mobile coverage, in part because of protests in the past against the building of masts.
“I think this is something for members right across the House. Ten years ago we were all rather guilty of leading campaigns against masts and all the rest of it," he said.
"Our constituents now want coverage for the internet, they want coverage for mobile phones.”
Cameron explained that it will be necessary to amend laws and make it easier for mobile operators to gain planning approval to deploy masts.
"We need to change the law in all the ways necessary to make sure the masts are built [and] that we increase coverage and ensure everyone is connected to the information superhighway," he said.
Cameron’s comments were made in response to a question from fellow Conservative MP Andrew Murrison, and are likely to be a clear hint that the Budget on 16 March will contain the necessary proposals.
This is not the first time that the government has made noises about relaxing planning laws for mobile mast deployments and a report last summer made a similar proposal.
Cameron also touched on the rollout of superfast broadband in the UK, claiming that the government is on track to hit its broadband targets in the months and years ahead.
“Since 2010 we have nearly doubled the number of homes and businesses with superfast broadband and we’re on track for the 90 and 95 percent targets,” he said.
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