Tag Archives: notspot

Journalism nightmare: Mobile broadband ‘not-spots’

5 Nov

You’ve travelled to an estranged and forgotten part of the world at your editor’s bequest. You interview several enraged locals who, in typical small town manner, know absolutely everything about the story. Dashing to the nearest coffee-selling establishment, you fire up your laptop to bash out 800 words. As you pound the keys in pursuit of deadline you can nearly feel the editor’s warm cigarette-stained breath on the back of your neck. Nearing caffeine overdose and with a patchwork story on you’re hands you hurriedly try to log on to your email account. Then comes the fail: No Network Connection.

As a working journalist in London this scenario isn’t all that common: the area has 100% mobile Internet coverage. Be it using your smart phone, or plugging a dongle into your laptop, ever-present wireless access is now an expected necessity. ‘Not-spots’ are unacceptable, unless, of course, you’re using the tube.

But life outside of London is often anti-parallel for journalists, as an Ofcom report into UK mobile broadband coverage today reveals. The report shows that 87% of the population is served with 3G coverage, whilst there is only 76% coverage geographically. The figures are remarkably lower for the UK’s smaller states, with N. Ireland served by 40% population and geographical coverage.

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