U.K.'s local councils told to upgrade internet connectivity

Big Ben and the Parliament

The U.K. government has called on local councils across the county to ensure that their residents have better access and mobile connectivity which it says is crucial to the U.K.’s recovery from coronavirus. It has written to councils asking how they will assist the gigabit broadband and 5G rollouts.

The government has proposed three measures to ensure a speedier rollout of these new technologies, they are as follows:

  • Follow government advice on land access and valuations so that deals granting access for new infrastructures such as 5G masts and full-fibre cabinets can be made. The government’s advice should quicken up agreements and make rents more reasonable.
  • The government is helping councils dispel myths around 5G technology. It comes after conspiracy theorists set masts on fire because they thought masts help spread coronavirus. Extraordinarily, a member of Glastonbury Town Council’s 5G Advisory Committee, Toby Hall, got suckered into buying a 5GBioShield.
  • Finally, councils are being encouraged to appoint a ‘digital champion’ that will work across teams to ensure a cohesive digital infrastructure strategy. They will also encourage councils to use the government’s ‘barrier busting’ team which helps remove obstacles to rollout.

Commenting on the measures, Minister for Digital Infrastructure Matt Warman said:

“We want to help people get access to fast and reliable connectivity. It is a top priority for this government.

Councils have a vital role to play in the rollout of digital infrastructure and while there is good work going on up and down the country, there is more we can do.”

Last month, it was announced that Huawei hardware would have to be removed from the U.K.’s 5G networks due to security concerns. It’s unclear exactly how this will impact the U.K.’s 5G rollout but mobile carriers suggested prices could go up and rollouts could take longer.

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