Connectivity consultancy FarrPoint reached out to digital leaders across local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales to find out their 2023 priorities and better understand barriers to improving connectivity in the UK. Find out what the survey uncovered.
The FarrPoint survey of local authority digital leaders across the UK is the first research to look at priorities across fixed and mobile connectivity specifically within local authority areas - and the barriers that can prevent progress.
FarrPoint reached out to over 100 digital leaders at local authorities across England, Scotland and Wales in December 2022, with responding councils in a variety of geographical locations, from ‘dense urban’ to rural areas.
The research examined a range of topics from gigabit-capable broadband to 5G, smart places, telecoms and net zero.
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“Our research highlighted some good progress on digital connectivity within local authorities, but there are still some areas for further development.
“With the focus from national government and industry on rolling out gigabit services and investments in fibre, it is not surprising that this was the area where we saw most progress from councils in 2022. There have also been improvements in 4G coverage, and to a lesser extent 5G, along with some advancements in smart places and IoT.
“The least progress was seen on ensuring digital connectivity is aligned with net-zero targets, suggesting this is an area that isn’t fully understood or resourced yet, despite the overwhelming majority of local authorities having declared climate emergencies in their area.
“At FarrPoint, we believe that local authorities need to pay more attention to this area as net-zero targets get closer, and awareness grows that connectivity is an essential enabler to achieving these targets.
“My advice to local authorities would be to ensure they have an up-to-date connectivity strategy, and also to prioritise preparations for the telecoms switch-offs, as some of these changes are already happening.
"We intend to make this an annual survey, so we welcome your feedback on any particular points and what you might find useful in future reports. Email them to us direcly (this will open in a new window)[email protected]”
“Digital connectivity is key to supporting regional development priorities with clear economic growth potential. As someone who works in a local authority, and closely collaborates with other councils, operators, and telecoms industry bodies, I really welcome this report. It raises the importance of connectivity and the key role local authorities have to play in achieving the leading edge digital infrastructure needed for businesses and communities to thrive.
She added: “Having a unified digital infrastructure strategy, with clear actions and timescales, is essential for all local authorities.”
Lastly, thank you to all that took part and don't forget to download the report.
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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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