The most comprehensive coverage possible with mobile telephony and the Internet is becoming an increasingly decisive location factor, an essential basis for retaining young people and attracting new companies, and an important field of action for a "ZukunftsRegion".
Since 2015, we have therefore been working to sound out the options for improving mobile communications coverage in the West Palatinate. After several preparatory expert discussions, we organized a municipal specialist workshop at the end of 2016 and a round of political decision-makers, consisting of mayors and county councils, at the beginning of 2017.
Subsequently, we conducted an investigation into the "white spots" in mobile communications coverage together with PGW. The review identified 34 municipalities or districts with a total of around 14,000 inhabitants that are not or virtually not covered (only one provider). After the preliminary investigation, paulusresult GmbH (Zweibrücken) was commissioned to find out from the three network operators whether and under what conditions they were interested in becoming involved in the region. The talks resulted in promising expansion commitments.
At the same time, we launched an initiative for "inner-German roaming" at the suggestion of Donnersberg District Administrator Guth - an opportunity for those locations where only one provider is currently represented. Roaming would also enable the customers of other network operators to use the existing infrastructure - with great benefits for users and potential savings when the network operators expand. A positive result of an appeal sent out together with the partners on the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region side to the members of the Bundestag from both regions was the inclusion of a corresponding declaration of intent in the coalition agreement.