Delivered by the Local Government Association (LGA), the Digital Connectivity Programme is a grant funded programme that builds your council’s skills and capacity to take advantage of the opportunities offered by connectivity to your local place and communities.
The programme supported councils to innovate their connectivity offer to give residents, local businesses and their workforce better connections to meet the challenges of further reliance on the internet exposed through the covid-19 pandemic. The inaugural year of the programme supported seven local authorities from across urban and rural settings to leverage their position as place shapers to improve their connectivity offer.
Please find a list of councils on the 2020 programme cohort along with a description of their project beneath and links to the work that has been delivered.
- Royal Borough of Greenwich
The Royal Borough of Greenwich Council produced the following report, which focuses on a systematic review to describe in detail the connectivity requirements the borough, and similar local authorities, will face in the next five to ten years. Understanding these requirements allowed the council to explore the options to meet these needs. One delivery route, the provision of a dark fibre network by the local authority in social housing blocks and its subsequent commercialisation, was analysed in-depth following a pilot deployment in Greenwich. Details for this route, benefits and potential issues are included in the report. For any further insights, get in touch with Balazs Csuvar, Head of Delivery at DG Cities.
Report on future of connectivity in local authorities
- Durham County Council
The aim of this project was to independently benchmark mobile coverage via the process of connectivity mapping on council fleet vehicles, to produce qualitative, real-time data, to identify gaps in mobile coverage, in order to gauge an overall picture of mobile connectivity across County Durham. The project deliverables are coming soon.
- Essex County Council
Superfast Essex is raising awareness of the broadband infrastructure built and upgraded to full fibre broadband by targeting communications and outreach to residents on a hyperlocal scale via postcode data. As part of the project, Essex County Council have created a toolkit on creating local Broadband Champions to promote connectivity in communities.
- South Hams District Council (in partnership with West Devon District Council)
West Devon Borough Council and South Hams District Council have united to prioritise community led placemaking strategies to promote sustainable resilience of communities, businesses and employees. Through the funding of a regional Digital Connectivity Manager this project will work with partners, neighbouring councils and suppliers to design of a digital connectivity framework that may be rolled out across the UK.
Case study on creating a digital manager role within a district council
- Warwickshire County Council
This project extends digital connectivity in Warwickshire by supporting local SMEs and communities where rurality and commercial failure had placed areas into digital poverty. The project provides mobile network equipment to 500 premises in a mixture of business and residential settings for vulnerable people and others suffering digital poverty. The project deliverables are coming soon.
- Westminster City Council
This project has created a toolkit to accurately target not-spots and allow other authorities to do the same. The project involves data collection, research, and engagement to develop a clear picture of connectivity creating a top-10 list of target areas to improve connectivity. This process has involved negotiations with providers to make the business case for the commercial viability in these areas. Once fibre is laid the project will deliver strong social and economic benefits, improving the wellbeing and prosperity of communities.