The Local Government Association (LGA) has launched its Digital Pathfinders Programme to help councils innovate and pioneer projects to advance digital inclusion, digital connectivity, and cyber security.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that access to a good quality, affordable broadband connection is vital for our communities and it is very concerning that people are priced out of this. We continue to call for a ‘social tariff’ to ensure a basic service is available at an affordable price to those most in need."
Responding to the report by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee on broadband roll-out, Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Digital connectivity spokesperson at the Local Government Association, said:
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become clear that access to fast and reliable broadband is more important than ever and councils are committed to working closely with the Government to help deliver on its nationwide gigabit-broadband and mobile coverage ambitions.
“As this report rightly recognises, councils need to have the local powers and adequate funding to help this ambition become
"The Government should use the upcoming Spending Review as an opportunity to empower councils to place a local digital champion in every local area to help facilitate delivery and support providers to install gigabit-capable broadband as quickly as possible."
“The Digital Connectivity programme, which is part of our sector-led improvement offer, is helping all councils to provide vital services for residents who don’t have access or confidence to use digital platforms."
“The economic impacts of the pandemic are likely to be long-lasting and far-reaching. Many households could be economically vulnerable for some time to come and many are now relying on the benefits system to help them make ends meet."