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Improving digital connectivity – a guide for London’s boroughs

The role of London Boroughs in improving digital connectivity

In a cost of living crisis and a potential recession, ensuring access to high speed digital connectivity is paramount. It ensures residents’ access to education and economic opportunity and helps local businesses to thrive. London’s boroughs and local government across the UK, have the power to drive improvements in connectivity that create better places to live, work and visit.

In Summer 2022, BAI spoke to lead practitioners within five boroughs – Westminster, Lewisham, Newham, Hounslow and Tower Hamlets – to find out how connectivity challenges are being addressed, as well as where the biggest opportunities are for improving connectivity and innovation to improve services for residents and businesses. This guide summarises the insight and findings of the full research report, “Hyperconnected London – How can London boroughs enable digital connectivity for today’s challenges”.

The steps proposed in this guide aim to highlight best practices and identify potential opportunities for London boroughs to ensure inclusive connectivity.

Three key takeaways from the report

Boroughs should consider the neutral host model for improving mobile connectivity

With a neutral host mobile connectivity solution, boroughs can monetise public assets while supporting broader borough objectives like digital inclusion.

Provide access to borough assets

Borough assets play an important part in improving connectivity, as the critical foundation for smart innovation.

Digital connectivity should be designed into planning developments early on to ensure digital inclusion

Fibre, ducts and suitable telecoms assets should be built into to specifications for developments. Boroughs can then monetise and work with industry to overlay the connectivity.
“The steps proposed in this guide aim to highlight best practice, identify potential opportunities for London boroughs, and reflect the challenges experienced by people working at the forefront of digital transformation in local government and how barriers can be overcome.”

BAI Communications

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