‘Tackling the digital divide’ – LGA responds to speeding-up trial of 5G rollout

“Councils have a key role to play in helping to improve local communities’ connectivity and ensuring the efficient rollout of mobile coverage. These pilot schemes are a positive recognition of this and could potentially be extended across the country. It is now vital that mobile network operators and the Government work with local authorities to deliver this programme."


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Responding to the Government’s announcement of eight pilot areas to speed up 4G and 5G rollout and improve mobile phone connectivity, including using street lights, bus shelters and traffic lights to host mobile network equipment, Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Digital Connectivity spokesperson for the Local Government Association said:

“Councils have a key role to play in helping to improve local communities’ connectivity and ensuring the efficient rollout of mobile coverage.

“These pilot schemes are a positive recognition of this and could potentially be extended across the country. It is now vital that mobile network operators and the Government work with local authorities to deliver this programme. We have called for a local digital champion in every local area, to act as a central contact point to help facilitate the delivery of mobile coverage across the country as quickly as possible.   

“With the right funding and opportunity to work in partnership with government, councils can play a far greater role targeting communities most in need, driving demand stimulation and providing digital upskilling to support the rollout.

“Tackling the digital divide will be important to levelling up in every community, ensuring everyone has the connectivity they need to thrive.”