Innovation and changeDigital TransformationDiscussion seeks ways to improve London’s digital connections

Discussion seeks ways to improve London's digital connections

London Assembly's Regeneration Committee has held a discussion on making London a Smart City, and how to improve Digital Connectivity within the Capital in general

Before the Mayor of London launches his Smart London Plan in June 2018, the London Assembly’s Regeneration Committee has held a discussion on making London a Smart City, and how to improve Digital Connectivity within the Capital in general.

The capital is poorly served when it comes to digital connectivity, suffering from ‘not-spots’ or ‘digital deserts’ due to a lack of fibre connections and poor 4G coverage.

In its 2017 report, Digital Connectivity in London, the Regeneration Committee found that London’s economic productivity and international competitiveness face a significant threat from this deficiency.

  • For 4G coverage, London ranks in the bottom five UK cities with only 73.6%.
  • London ranked 30th out of 63 cities across the UK for high speed broadband coverage.
  • In Spain 83% of all its buildings are connected to pure fibre. In the UK the figure is just 3% or even less.

The following areas were of particular interest during the meeting:

  • Digital connectivity – connectivity is now a well known issue that needs to be addressed.
  • Smart cities – the impact of ‘smart urbanism’ and implementation of smart city technologies.
  • Piloting innovative approaches as the Mayor looks to regenerate Old Oak Common and Park Royal through the OPDC.

The following guests answered questions:

  • Theo Blackwell, Chief Digital Officer, GLA
  • Dr Stephen Lorimer, Smart City Policy and Delivery Officer, GLA
  • Dr Katherine Willis, Associate Professor, University of Plymouth

The meeting, which took place on the morning of 6 February, can be viewed via webcast.

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