Moon to get 4G before parts of Wales as rural communities are swallowed by services ‘black hole’

4G or not 4G? The moon could have a better cellular network than rural Ceredigion (Picture by Vodafone)

 

The lifeless surface of the moon is likely to have 4G before many parts of rural Wales, according to an MP.

Ceredigion MP Ben Lake pointed to plans to install a 4G connection on the lunar surface, saying: “So the moon is going to have 4G wireless access before a large proportion of rural Wales.

“You couldn’t make it up.”

Yesterday he warned that rural communities risked being left in a “black hole” as services close.

Research published by Which? last year showed that Wales has the least access to 4G networks in the UK. It found that on average, 4G customers in Wales could get a 4G signal just 35.4% of the time.

This week Vodafone and Nokia announced plans to set up up the first 4G network on the Moon to provide communications support for an unmanned rover mission scheduled to launch in 2019.

This would allow the rover to send back high-definition digital video rather than the poor quality images provided by the analog radio link used by Apollo 17.

Rural

Yesterday Ben Lake he introduced a Bill in Parliament looking to ensure customers aren’t left without basic financial services by bank closures and poor broadband connections.

The measures in the Bill were aimed at:

  • Making it more difficult for banks to close – banks would have to consider transport time to their next nearest branch
  • Create ‘Local Banking Hubs’ – more than one bank could share premises and some administrative functions
  • Enhance financial services offered by Post Offices – many branches lack the basic infrastructure, funding, and training to carry out banking services.

“In rural areas, people are being forced to travel tens-of-miles to the nearest bank,” Ben Lake said.

“And with underinvestment in broadband infrastructure, online banking is not an option. These communities are being left in a banking black hole.”

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