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The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has backed the Government's proposals to require major mobile network operators to adopt a new national roaming policy to boost mobile 'not-spots'.

The problem of partial mobile not-spots is a long-running issue in the UK, and particularly affects those in remote areas, such as the farmers, rural businesses and landowners represented by the CLA.

However, despite backing plans to boost access, the group says any new policy cannot be to the disadvantage of the landowners who provide the land for mobile masts - something highlighted by CLA President Henry Robinson.

He explained: "The lack of a mobile signal is holding back opportunity for thousands of people that live and work in the countryside. We support the Government’s attempt to resolve this major problem and hope they and the mobile industry can work out a voluntary solution, but we would support regulation as a last resort."

It is believed that putting a national roaming network in place would encourage mobile operators to work together for the benefit of consumers, though the CLA accepts that there are "technical challenges to overcome".

Major networks have previously expressed concern, however, saying that national roaming is not a "silver bullet" approach, not only taking years to implement, but also possibly acting as a disincentive to build more infrastructure.

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