RURAL areas like Ludlow and south Shropshire could face a further five years before getting high quality mobile coverage.

The Government is supporting a £530m proposal from the UK’s mobile network operators for a Shared Rural Network, with the potential for it to be matched by £500 million investment from Government.

This would be a world-first deal with EE, O2, Three and Vodafone investing in a network of new and existing phone masts they would all share, to provide additional coverage to 280,000 homes and businesses and 16,000km of roads.

Government-owned mobile infrastructure built as part of the Emergency Services Network will also be made available to all four operators, helping to provide coverage in some of the most remote, rural locations.

But it will take five years to reach some areas meaning that services available in parts of the country now will not come online until 2025.

But former Ludlow MP and Conservative candidate in the forthcoming General Election thinks this is good news.

“This proposal is great news for people in south Shropshire,” said Mr Dunne.