After a decade in the technological backwaters – I now have a FemtoCell unit – i.e. a white plastic box from THREE that gives me a mobile signal in the wilds of Northumberland. Wark on Tyne doesn’t have good mobile coverage (actually much of Northumberland is rubbish generally in this respect) – here’s a solution for users of the THREE network.
Here’s the mini-video review of the THREE Home Signal Box
Meanwhile I had a conversation with a colleague at Northumberland Council on the general subject of broadband as against mobile coverage and here is his response dated October 2012
The problem in rural areas arises due to the number of people on the exchange Cramlington for example serves over 13,000 properties whereas Wark has less than 500. The other service providers will therefore consider how much return they are likely to get from their investment in an exchange and in the case of smaller exchanges will conclude it is not commercially viable.
The positive news however is that Wark exchange is included as part of the Defra project for North Tyne and Redesdale. This will use public funds to upgrade infrastructure in the area – we need to go through a procurement process to find who can provide this investment, but whoever it will be it is expected that that infrastructure will be opened up to all providers. (I don’t know the detail but apparently this is easier to do anyway once fibre connections have been installed). We are currently working to a timescale of delivering improvements on the ground in early/mid 2013.
Sam Knows is quite useful to compare your exchange to other areas. As you’ll see Wark has the basic level of service at present, which is why you’ll find the prices are more than available in other parts of the county / country (http://www.samknows.com/broadband/exchange/NEWR)