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'Cut off ' village now has first 4G mobile mast.

Byline: OWEN HUGHES Business Correspondent owen.hughes@dailypost.co.uk

A RURAL community that was completely cut off from all communications just over 18 months ago now has 4G.

Mobile company O2 has installed the first permanent 4G mobile mast in Staylittle, in Powys.

In the summer of 2015, the village experienced a total communication black-out after the landline connection went down, leaving the village completely cut off from the outside world for nearly two weeks.

With the nearest town located approximately eight miles away, Staylittle residents relied on one working landline in the local Post Office to keep in touch with family, friends and customers.

In response, O2 installed a temporary 2G mobile mast in the village in 2015, bringing mobile connectivity which enabled voice calls and texts in Staylittle for the first time.

Since then O2 has worked in collaboration with local authorities, to install a permanent 4G mobile mast.

The new mobile mast now provides full 3G and 4G coverage to the entire village, enabling villagers to connect to the internet and make calls from wherever they are in the area.

Becky Williams, a Staylittle resident who runs Kids Closet, a children's clothing company, said: "Having mobile internet access has already made a big difference to the local community.

"We're all very happy to be able to connect online with our family and friends - a luxury that is often taken for granted elsewhere in the UK."

Beyond Staylittle, almost 400 more Welsh villages are set to benefit from O2's commitment to improving rural network coverage from now until the end of the year.

O2 invests over PS2 million every day to develop its network across the UK and its 4G network now covers 96.8 per cent of the UK population outdoors.

Brendan O'Reilly, Chief Technology Officer at O2, said: "At O2, we pride ourselves on listening to customers, but we also listen to communities who have yet to feel part of a digitally connected Britain.

"Ever since we heard Staylittle's story in 2015, we've worked tirelessly to get its residents to this point - where they can make calls and access the internet and social media on the move just like most of the country.

"Seeing what a difference being connected is already making to families and businesses in Staylittle has made this a memorable achievement, and one we are working hard to emulate this in other rural villages across Wales."

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 9, 2017
Words:404
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