Wortwell Bell rings up a first as it gets connected

Wortwell Bell Pub

Wortwell Bell Pub

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Wortwell Bell has rung up a first - it is the first community hub to go live in a Vodafone mobile phone signal initiative.

An mini-mast about the size of a home broadband router installed inside the South Norfolk pub under the communications company’s Community Indoor Sure Signal (CISS) programme ensures it receives reliable 3G mobile coverage.

Landlord Chris Shore said it benefited both his customers and business. “As keeping in touch is so important to everyone these days, having a reliable 3G signal is fantastic for our village pub.”

A Vodafone spokesman explained that reliable indoor coverage can be difficult to achieve in certain buildings, such as older properties with thick walls or in rural areas. The CISS technology was similar to that used in Vodafone’s Rural Open Sure Signal (ROSS) programme which achieved 3G coverage to 84 rural “not spots” in the country, including 12 in Norfolk.

Jorge Fernandes, Vodafone’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 that all our customers can enjoy the benefits of mobile technology wherever they are.”

Vodafone plans to extend its CISS programme to 100 community hubs and is still accepting applications. Full details are available at www.vodafone.co.uk/rural