Today Mobile UK’s Director of Policy and Communications Gareth Elliott will be speaking at the Connected Britain event to discuss how the barriers to mobile deployment can be broken down.
The UK Government recognizes this central role and has set a target for the majority of households to be connected to 5G by 2030. Further to that, 95% of the UK’s landmass is set to be covered by a reliable 4G signal through the Shared Rural Network , a joint initiative between the UK’s MNOs and HM Government. 1 In order to achieve this, it is equally important to identify and alleviate any barriers that impede or make mobile deployment more difficult, costly or timely to rollout.
Several areas continue to make mobile equipment deployment difficult, including, a lack of coordination, limited expertise, and unfocused resources when it comes to enabling mobile connectivity at a local level. Mobile UK believes that there is a solution which is why Mobile UK is campaigning for the Government to fund locally appointed digital champions as a solution to these barriers.
Digital Champions have been shown to be effective. Recent evidence from Cluttons and You Gov found that where councils have invested in Digital Champions they are:
- Three times more likely to agree promoting and improving digital connectivity is a priority for the local area
- Four times more likely to say their local authority’s relationship with the telecommunications and digital infrastructure providers rolling out infrastructure and equipment is effective.
- Four times more likely to say their local authority is doing enough to smooth the way for the rollout of telecommunications infrastructure and equipment in the local area.
In setting ambitions for 95% of the UK to be covered with a reliable 4G mobile signal and the majority of the population to have access to 5G the Government must recognize that councils have a key role to assist with this development. Equally, councils face a funding shortfall. The Government should therefore look to replicate the success of existing Digital Champions by putting in place measures to enable local authorities to invest in Digital Champions to help coordinate and prioritize digital connectivity. In addition, further efforts must be made to raise awareness of the critical benefits of digital connectivity and to encourage greater leadership at a local level to help promote mobile connectivity and infrastructure rollout.