Discussion seeks ways to improve London’s digital connections

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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