A possible alternative to Roaming
As El Reg is so opposed to Network roaming (and I still do not buy the reasons they put forward) how about something slightly different?
Let's assume you are a country dweller like myself. My phone is on all the time, the networks can see what the capability of the mast I'm connecting to is. If I pay for a 3G plan, but the network is incapable of providing it, the network should rebate some of the (Network not Phone) charges associated with the account, that would mean that there is at least some incentive to upgrade services in rural areas
If you have a Suresignal or a Boostbox (Voda or O2 other suppliers exist) then you have a pseudo 3G connection using a picocell and your own broadband, but at least you have a signal, so, in places where there is minimum 2Mb broadband, the networks should be persuaded (forced) to give out the picocells free of charge, they should also allow the registration of any (same Network) mobile the contract owner wants ( usually fiends or family who pay their own way) irrespective of whether they are PAYG or Contract