New tech to be trialled to boost local connectivity

The government has announced that it is piloting smart street lamps that can house EV charging hubs and boost wireless coverage, including 5G.

Cambridgeshire and Oxfordshire County Councils are among six areas in the UK to test the project which aims to boost local connectivity and test next-generation digital technologies. 

It is hoped the trial will show how state-of-the-art wireless technology can become an integral part of UK infrastructure to connect public services and businesses in new ways.

Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure Sir John Whittingdale said:

“The way we stay in touch, access information and do business is underpinned by digital connectivity - and a world-class wireless infrastructure will be the foundation for the jobs, skills, and services of the future.

We want to ensure that towns and cities across the UK are right at the forefront of this connectivity revolution, ready to seize the opportunities it will bring for local communities, which is exactly what these pilots are about.

They will help demonstrate how advanced wireless technology can enable areas to innovate and deliver better public services, from rolling out electric vehicle chargers to boosting business growth and helping keep our streets safe.”

However, RSN Chief Executive Kerry Booth says the trial doesn’t go far enough:

“Whilst we welcome the inclusion of Cambridgeshire and Oxfordshire in this pilot scheme, we want the government to really challenge itself and try the technology in truly remote rural areas. It might go some way to minsters understanding the connectivity issues facing rural communities and speed up the delivery of things like Project Gigabit and the Shared Rural Network.”


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