March 23, 2022

Budget 2022: Digital Champions essential to rollout of mobile networks

As the Chancellor delivers his Spring Announcement Mobile UK has requested that the Government makes available funds to invest in Digital Champions for local authorities to help coordinate and smooth the rollout of mobile networks.

Recent research by property consultants Cluttons and YouGov has highlighted the dramatic impact digital champions have on assisting mobile deployment.

The report found that where Councils did have a Digital Strategy and/or a Digital Champion in place, they are:  

  • Three times more likely to agree to promote and to improve digital connectivity is a priority for the local area    
  • Four times more likely to say their local authority’s relationship with Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure Providers, when it comes to rolling out telecommunications infrastructure and equipment, is effective.    
  • Four times more likely to say their local authority is doing enough to smooth the way for the rollout of telecommunications infrastructure and equipment in the local area.  

As the industry continues to invest heavily in its networks, including the Shared Rural Network and next-generation 5G, there remains a clear need for a coordinating role at the local level to manage relationships between local authorities and the industry.  

Mobile UK believes that properly funded digital champions can have a hugely positive impact and points to the success of schemes such as West Midlands 5G, Superfast Essex’s Be5GSmart campaign, and appointed digital champions in the City of Wolverhampton and Glasgow City Council, where mobile deployment has been positively assisted.

Commenting on the Budget, Gareth Elliott, Director of Policy and Communications at Mobile UK, said:

“The industry is working towards ambitious targets to extend 4G and 5G coverage to the whole of the UK. Digital Champions have a proven track record of success. We are looking to the Chancellor in the Budget to make funds available to local authorities so that they have the means to appoint people into these roles to assist the rollout of world-class mobile networks.”
Mobile UK's Spring Budget Submission

About Building Mobile Britain

Building Mobile Britain logo

Building Mobile Britain is a campaign created by Mobile UK seeking to work with national and local government, as well as interested industry groups to overcome the challenges we face with expanding the existing mobile networks, while also developing innovative services for customers.

See here for further information - or #BuildingMobileBritain

Media Contacts

Gareth Elliott
Head of Policy and Communications
Tel: 07887 911 076

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