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We prefer no phone masts in our unspoilt French valley – and no signal

Villagers say they will continue to oppose masts in the Alpine beauty spot and use walkie-talkies instead

The Vallée des Fonts consists of traditional chalets and summer pastures Pic: Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo

Villagers in a small Alpine commune have fought off plans to install a 4G mobile phone mast in a mountain beauty spot, saying they prefer to stay disconnected rather than change the unspoilt countryside.

The mairie of Cervières, Hautes-Alpes, agreed not to go ahead with a scheme with Bouygues that would have seen a 30m mast, together with 56 solar panels and a technical shed. 

Other possible positions are to be studied, including on nearby summits, but locals say they will continue to oppose anything that spoils the Vallée des Fonts.

Read more: Mobile operators install masts disguised as trees in France

Landlines and walkie-talkies will suffice

Past decades also saw successful opposition to ski lifts in the area, which is used mostly by farmers as summer pastures for their animals. 

Some chalets are second homes and the spot is used in winter for cross-country skiing.

A farmer who lives there in summer and helped organise a petition of more than 3,000 signatures against a mast said it is likely that satellite mobile coverage will be available within a few years. 

Read more: Starlink satellites bring Wi-Fi to rural France

In the meantime, alternatives such as landlines and walkie-talkies will suffice. 

“The valley is magnificent and untouched. There isn’t a single pylon or advertising hoarding, just old chalets. 

“It’s not lived in all year round and was an absurd idea to force us to have a mast there and spoil the valley when it’s not indispensable.”

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