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New FarrPoint report reveals UK local authority connectivity priorities for 2024


New FarrPoint report reveals UK local authority connectivity priorities for 2024

Welcome to the second edition of the FarrPoint Digital Connectivity Survey. The study aims to identify the priorities set by digital leaders across local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales for the year 2024 and to gain insights into the challenges hindering the enhancement of connectivity. Explore the findings of this survey to gain a comprehensive understanding of the current landscape.

Gigabit broadband rollout remains the top priority for local authority digital leaders, but 5G continues to divide opinion and there’s not enough focus on net zero.

These are just some of the key findings from the second annual survey of digital leaders at councils across England, Scotland and Wales, carried out by FarrPoint.

When the research was conducted in December 2023, respondents were asked about their priorities when it came to fixed and mobile connectivity, as well as the barriers preventing progress. Responding councils were spread across a variety of geographical locations, from ‘dense urban’ to ‘rural’ areas.

The survey covered a range of topics from councils’ views on 5G and gigabit-capable broadband to smart places and net zero.

Digital Connectivity Survey 2024

Download the 2024 Report

Report launch webinar and discussion with digital leads

Join our webinar on the 6th of February as we launch this report, and hear from four UK local authority leads who took part in the survey as they talk about their digital priorities for 2024.

Click here for more details about the webinar and to register your place.

Key findings uncovered during the research were:

(this will open in a new window)Dr Andrew Muir, CEO at FarrPoint, shares his views on this year's survey

Andrew Muir, FarrPoint CEO

"This is the second year of our connectivity research with local authority digital leaders, and it was interesting to see what’s changed – and what hasn’t – since our last report a year ago.

“Some great progress has been made on digital connectivity within councils, but there are still areas for improvement. For example, it was clear from the responses that many local authorities are under significant financial pressure, which is, at times, leading to a reduced focus on supporting the digital connectivity rollout and take-up of services.

“It was disappointing to see that local issues, such as the planning process and permits, were seen as this year’s biggest barrier to improving digital connectivity. I’d encourage councils to work together with other public bodies, central government and telecoms operators to tackle these challenges, because they are definitely surmountable.

“During the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, councils could also be doing more to encourage take-up of improved connectivity services among their residents. There’s a widely held perception that these are unaffordable, but we’ve seen many cases where improved services are just as cheap, or even cheaper, than existing services.

“I also hope to see a change in approach to net zero, to reflect the pivotal role that better connectivity can play in achieving the country’s environmental targets. Net zero isn’t someone else’s problem – digital departments can make a significant contribution.”

(this will open in a new window)Dija Oliver, digital project manager at Swansea Bay City Deal, who contributed to the report on the survey, added:

Dija Oliver, Swansea Bay City Deal

“Digital infrastructure affects all of the Swansea Bay City Deal projects and programmes. It is essential to the delivery of our partners’ digital transformation strategies, the economic growth of our region and improving social inclusion. We can only achieve the objectives of our programme by working collaboratively with industry, government, and our partners, using data to make decisions and being agile in our approach.

“I welcome this report by FarrPoint and believe that sharing these findings across authorities and encouraging debate can only help us reach our collective ambitions.”

Lastly, thank you to all that took part and don't forget to download the report.


If you would like to download last year's report (this will open in a new window)click here.

About FarrPoint

FarrPoint is an independent connectivity and smart technology consultancy based in the UK.

If you have any questions about the survey or our services, get in touch.

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