EE UK Leaves Kent Village Without Mobile Signal for Two Weeks

EE-Leaveland-Mast-in-Kent

Residents and businesses on EE’s mobile phone network in the area around the small rural hamlet and civil parish of Leaveland in Kent (England) have complained after a fault with the operator’s local mast left them without a working 4G connection, as well as poor signal and other Areas (over other masts), for two weeks and counting.

The situation seems to have started around the beginning of November and for the last few weeks EE’s status checker for their local network has indicated that there is indeed a “Service problem“in the area, but also promise to deliver”good service within 16 hours, but some fixes take a little longer“. Unfortunately, that message remained unchanged for the entire time.

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The mast itself is shared with Three UK as part of their network sharing joint venture with EE (MBNL – Mobile Broadband Network Limited) and Three’s checker also notes that they “fix an issue” nearby: “We apologize for any inconvenience you are experiencing. Our engineers are working on masts in the area, which means the rest of our network is handling more traffic than usual“.

The mast in question (eNB ID 29293 at 51°15’32.13″N, 0°52’9.83″E) appears to sit on the edge of a field on private property. According to residents, the Estate and EE have been in discussions. Engineers were supposed to attend last week, but because they didn’t notify the estate, they found the gates locked – these are just farm gates.

Tim Higgs, Local ISP Broadband for Rural Kent (B4RK), said:

“It’s really frustrating after providing a business customer with super fast fixed access LTE broadband service with the only mast we can get a signal from, only to have no service for almost 2 weeks and EE can’t seem to access the mast .

What is more frustrating is that the only other 4G network available is Three and they are also on the same mast and also down. I have ordered a Starlink dish for my business customer who is affected by this outage, but the estimated delivery date is November 21-27. I’m starting to think that Starlink will be delivered before EE fixes the mast though.

We raised the issue with EE, but they surprisingly offered no comment, except to confirm that there is a Cellnex Site and their team are still trying to arrange access through the owner’s representative. We suspect that the existing path would probably have allowed them to climb over the regular farm gates to gain access.

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However, in this country it is always safest and most polite to arrange access first, so that the engineers are not chased by a farmer with guns who might otherwise think they are doing something bad (unfortunately, criminals attack often farm and are no more than to do than to be them. Engineers). But in the meantime, local homes and businesses continue to suffer.

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