Vodafone has announced that the Wortwell Bell Inn in Harleston, Norfolk, is the first place to be connected under the Community Indoor Sure Signal programme. It means that patrons in the rural village pub can now get a 3G connection.
Rural locations are often desperately underserved when it comes to mobile connectivity, and getting connected inside a building can often prove problematic. One initiative that Vodafone's undertaken is to install technology in 'community hubs' that can provide indoor coverage in those areas.
Hubs could include village halls, community centres and, as it is in this case, pubs. The plan involves installing femtocells in select locations - tech that uses fixed line broadband to boost 3G coverage in an area.
Jorge Fernandes, Vodafone UK's chief technology officer, said: "Community hubs, like pubs and village halls, across the UK play an important part in rural life and supporting the local economy. We want to ensure all our customers can enjoy the benefits of mobile connectivity wherever they are but appreciate there are some communities which will take longer to get to using traditional methods."
Chris Shore, landlord of The Wortwell Bell added: "The Vodafone Sure Signal unit is benefitting both our customers and our business. As keeping in touch is so important to everyone these days, having a reliable 3G signal is fantastic for our village pub."