Brown Urges DFI to Address Phone Signal Issues

Local Alliance Councillor, Patrick Brown, is urging the Department of Infrastructure to address the the ‘dead zone’ of phone signal at Bells Hill, between Crossgar and Downpatrick.

Cllr Brown commented: “This issue has been raised to me by multiple constituents, who are understandably frustrated by how the signal completely drops out in the area, regardless of which provider they are with.”

“This is not a problem limited to just this area though – a trend clearly highlighted by initiatives such as the Shared Rural Network, which is aiming to improve mobile connectivity across the UK and Northern Ireland. Although I am pleased that there is an awareness for the need for increased connectivity and improved infrastructure across rural areas, I am however concerned about the timeframe for its delivery, with the completion date for the rollout set currently as 2027.”

“It is so important that we close the digital divide between rural and urban areas, especially as the world becomes increasingly online. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown how crucial it is that we are all connected, with work, social activities, medical appointments, and shopping all becoming online activities. This shows that we must take steps to ensure that the internet and good phone signal is easily accessible for all. As such, I am calling for the Department of Infrastructure to test the signal strength in the area, and take appropriate action to improve the connectivity, so that those in the community don’t have to wait for years to be able to use their mobile phones at home.”


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