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Mobile giant steps in to help villagers

Created on 01/06/2017 @ 14:14
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A Montgomeryshire village described as one of the remotest in the UK now has full 4G telephone and internet connection following investment by a mobile operator.

Staylittle, near Llanidloes, has limited telephone connectivity and was cut off from all communications for two weeks in 2015 with residents relying on a single phone in the village Post Office to keep in touch with friends and family.

Now, O2 has announced it has turned on a 4G mast in the village to help give residents and local businesses better internet and phone connectivity.

It had installed a 2G mast in 2015 to provide the fist mobile signal in the area, but residents have relied on costly satellite broadband for their internet or a very slow landline connection which went off intermittently.

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.”

Brendan O’Reilly, Chief Technology Officer at O2, said: “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.” 

Russell George, Assembly Member for Montgomeryshire and Chair of the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee, said of the new mobile mast: “It’s a huge, positive change for the village - a change that is guaranteed to improve the lives of those living in Staylittle, who can now go online with confidence, and connect with friends, family and colleagues through their mobile.”

Photo: Staylittle (courtesy of O2)

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