Published: 06:00, 09 June 2021
Visitors to the Isle of Sheppey this summer can expect faster internet speeds on their phone in case they need to call emergency services.
Provider EE has made the changes to the 4G network as the Island, and other coastal areas in Kent, prepare for a bumper summer and an increase amount of visitors.
The work comes after the RNLI advised better mobile connectivity can help people stay safe by being able to call emergency services when needed, or checking the charity’s website if unsure about certain things.
Upgrades to the 4G network were completed earlier this year, with more work set to be compete around the county this summer, and will help the RNLI as it prepares for “an exceptionally busy summer”.
EE is now part of the BT group which has agreed a long term deal with the RNLI to upgrade their network.
BT chief executive Mac Allera said: “With many popular seaside locations expecting a busy summer, we’re pleased to be providing improved coastal connectivity.
“The upgrades to our network will help ensure our customers stay connected this summer, even at the busiest times.
'Mobile phones can help people stay safe when at the coast.'
“The additional capacity delivered through improvements to our 4G network, alongside the continued roll-out of our 5G network, will help people make the most of their time at the coast, and also provide a valuable lifeline, if an emergency occurs.”
RNLI’s water safety lead for the south East, Guy Addington, said: “We do expect coastal areas to be very busy this summer, but if people follow key safety advice, they can stay safe and enjoy their time at the beach and along our coastlines.
“Alongside our lifeboat crew and lifeguards, mobile phones can help people stay safe when at the coast, so improvements to coastal coverage is welcomed.
“Smartphones can help people plan their day at the coast and check things like the weather, tide times and where our lifeguards are patrolling.
“Mobiles also allow people to call for help quickly in an emergency situation.”
To find out more advice from the RNLI on how to use your mobile to stay safe at the coast, visit here.