MOBILE phone service provider 02 has vowed to consider sites in Dervock with a view to establishing a mast in the village.
A fortnight ago Steven Phillips, Ulster Unionist Party representative and member of the Dervock and Community Association, alongside Association Chairman Frankie Cunningham raised the issue surrounding the poor reception for mobile phones in the Dervock and surrounding areas.
Mr Phillips said: “The issue had been raised a few years ago and nothing has been advanced. We in the Community Association are raising the matter again as some of the residents have only a mobile phone as means of communication and pay for a service which frankly they are not getting.
“We have contact Mr Paul McCullagh from Telefónica O2 UK Ltd and we are hoping that the matter will be concluded in a satisfactory manner”.
Robin Swann MLA from the Ulster Unionist Party has become involved with the negotiations and has tasked his office manager Steven Nichol to keep an eye on proceedings.
In an email last week Mr McCullagh told Mr Phillips:
‘As promised, I have asked our Radio Engineers to identify a location that could potentially provide a coverage solution – subject to overall commercial business approval - as per the attached.
‘It would suggest that to achieve the desired coverage that a location on higher ground would be required.
‘As discussed, I would be grateful if you could confirm if there is scope for a rent free site to be offered in this location.
‘The site should also be close to an existing power source if possible as this can be a significant cost for new site deployment. This will allow a further view to be taken – which is entirely without prejudice at this stage.’
Mr Phillips said the next step was to speak to Ballymoney council to establish if any of the land under consideration is council owned.
Mr Swann said: “With the 2012 Olympics coming up next year we would like to have better communication network in the area as we expect the number of visitors to the village to increase.”
The mobile telephone network in Stranocum is equally as bad, the Times has learned.
One resident said: “If you are in the middle of the village you have very little chance of getting a reception.”