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DCF and FarrPoint launch a new report: Local Authorities as Connectivity Enablers


DCF and FarrPoint launch a new report: Local Authorities as Connectivity Enablers

The UK’s rollout of gigabit-capable broadband and mobile connectivity would benefit from improvements in communication, collaboration and consistency between local authorities and the telecoms industry, according to this new report, produced for the Digital Connectivity Forum (DCF) by FarrPoint.

About the study

The new DCF / FarrPoint report "Local Authorities as Connectivity Enablers" was the output of interviews with over 30 organisations involved in the provision of digital connectivity, including local authorities, fixed and mobile network operators, central and devolved governments, and other regulatory and policy stakeholders.

The analysis finds that improvement is needed in the areas of communication, collaboration and consistency. Contributors to the report indicated that more can be done to improve communication on all sides and that inconsistency is seen across local authorities in terms of their approach to the deployment of digital infrastructure.

Download the report

Report recommendations

The report makes a number of recommendations for policy makers and the industry itself across four areas: communications and engagement; planning; street and roadworks; and local authorities as landlords and site providers.

Key recommendations include that:

The report’s recommendations, if fully implemented, would address many of the remaining obstacles local authorities are experiencing with the deployment of digital connectivity, says the (this will open in a new window)Digital Connectivity Forum.

A lot of progress but challenges remain

“Much positive work has taken place, particularly in the terms of legislative changes, over recent years to reduce barriers to the deployment of high-speed fixed and mobile connectivity,” notes Alexander Mather, Head of the Digital Connectivity Forum. “This has resulted in real benefits to UK economy and society, with over 70 per cent of homes across the UK having access to gigabit-capable broadband."

“However, as this report highlights, challenges remain at a local level especially regarding poor communications and collaboration between local authorities and network builders. This is resulting in high levels of variation between local authority areas in terms of their rollout of both fixed and mobile digital infrastructure.”

Local authorities need to be enabled through consistent centralised policies and legislation

“During this study, we spoke to over 30 different local authorities and related organisations from all parts of the UK who are all active in supporting the rollout of digital infrastructure,” reports Steve Smith, Principal Consultant at FarrPoint.

“While conducting these interviews, we noted a number of great digital initiatives and also identified where there are still a few improvements to be made. As part of the study recommendations, we highlight that local authorities need to be empowered through more consistent, centralised policies and legislation in order to help them accelerate the connectivity infrastructure rollout and champion innovation. Communication between local authorities, central government and telecom operators is the key component to success, so we would like to see industry and local government openly sharing best practices and simply talking to each other more.”

Find out more

For more information download the report or get in touch.

Link to report

Find out more

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