O2 to upgrade 4G connections in 339 rural communities

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The operator claims upgraded communities will collectively see £141 million in revenue per annum as a consequence

O2 has announced today (Oct 29) 339 rural areas in the UK will see upgraded 4G connections by the end of 2018.

The selected communities to benefit are between the Scottish village of Drumoak to Lizard in South West England. This could benefit up to a quarter of a million UK residents.

O2 claims the 14,000 businesses benefitting from the upgrade will see a revenue boost of £141 million per year representing a potential £45m boost to the UK economy and boost to underlying employment growth of 31pc.

The tourism and hospitality sector are set to benefit the most (£57.7m), rural manufacturers and transport businesses is forecasted to add £24.1m and £15.4m respectively. This is according to research released by Development Economics to explore the economic impact of 4G on rural businesses.

The operator claims to invests over £2 million per day to maintain and improve its network. Earlier this year, Ofcom confirmed that O2 had delivered against its commitment to providing 98pc indoor 4G coverage and 90pc geographical landmass mass coverage across the UK.

Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries Margot James said: “4G coverage is improving all the time, but there’s more to do, particularly in rural areas. We’ve already reformed planning laws to make it easier and cheaper to install and upgrade digital infrastructure, and it’s great to see O2 and the rest of industry responding to ensure more people in rural Britain can share the brilliant benefits of 4G connectivity.”

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