DATA from Ofcom states 23,000 premises across Somerset and Devon lack adequate mobile phone signal, and are known as "4G not-spots".

As of October 18, over £430,000 of funding has been secured to help bring mobile connectivity to even the most rural areas across both counties.

The funding has been granted by The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, to the Connecting Devon & Somerset Mobile Boost scheme.

Over 1,700 installations came as part of the Mobile Boost Scheme's project which took place from February 2021 until March 2023.

The scheme directly helped small businesses and homeworkers with poor indoor coverage, by providing vouchers worth up to £1,300 to support applicants with the cost of installing a mobile signal booster from registered suppliers.

Thanks to the initial success of the project, the scheme will be extended due to a cash injection of £437,480 by the Local Enterprise Partnership.

This money will enable around 600 new installations in areas without a good fixed-line connection.

Residents and business owners who want to find out more about the scheme can do so on the Connecting Devon & Somerset website.

Karl Tucker, Chair of the Heart of the South West LEP, said: "We are delighted to continue to support the Mobile Boost scheme, which supports small businesses and residents in the region’s hardest to reach areas.

"The project will help even more people access the internet, work from home and get digitally connected."

Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Recovery and Skills, said: "People living and working in some rural areas struggle to get online, so it is fantastic to see the difference the Mobile Boost scheme has had in getting our communities connected."

Councillor Mike Rigby, Lead Member, Transport & Digital at Somerset Council, said: "This scheme provides vital connectivity to local residents and business owners, not only helping people access more online services, but boosting productivity and helping to stimulate economic growth."

Connecting Devon & Somerset will work with local organisations to promote and deliver the scheme, including the Federation of Small Businesses, Heart of the South West Growth Hub, Digital Skills Partnership, Chambers of Commerce, District Council Economic Development Officers, and Cosmic.