November 14, 2022

Guest Blog: Delivering World-Class Digital Infrastructure Throughout Nottinghamshire - with Ceren Clulow of Nottinghamshire County Council

Guest blog provided by Ceren Clulow, Digital Connectivity Manager at Nottinghamshire County Council and Chair of ADEPT's Digital Connectivity Working Group.

Nottinghamshire County Council is the 11th largest local authority in the UK and our Digital Connectivity Team is committed to ensuring the county has ‘outstanding’ digital and mobile connectivity.  

In just shy of a decade, the Council has taken superfast digital infrastructure across Nottinghamshire from a baseline of 86% to over 98%. These advances will further support the connectivity and capacity needs of local constituents, businesses and more.

"As part of the councils’ ambition to be a trailblazer for enhanced mobile connectivity through the provision of 5G technologies, the 5G Connected Forest and 5G Digital Turbine Centre projects were introduced."

5G Connected Forest

5G Connected Forest: A world-first project delivering 5G connectivity in the historical site of Nottinghamshire’s Sherwood Forest area.

The 5G Connected Forest is a world-first project as part of the Government’s 5G Testbed and Trials programme to assess the potential for 5G applications in the historical site of Nottinghamshire’s Sherwood Forest area.

One of the core, and unique objectives of this £10 million project was to demonstrate the opportunities and benefits of boosting the attractiveness of the forest to visitors through improved entertainment and education. To achieve this, we brought mobile connectivity into the forested rural area, and utilised Augmented Reality (AR) content with Robin Hood telling the history of a medieval forest. Personalised, immersive, integrative experiences require much more data than traditional audio/video and are more complex to deliver. 5G technology is a key enabler for such experiences as it offers high bandwidth, low latency, and edge computing.

5G Connected Forest also looked at ways that 5G can be used to improve the management of the forest and monitor its health. With low-latency and enhanced broadband capability, 5G is assisting in gathering the huge volume of data more rapidly, which is critical in the context of emergency and disasters that impact the health status of the forest.

Massive data when combined with Artificial Intelligence (AI) unlocks the measures to understand the health of the forest. Testing state-of-the-art digital technologies such as drones, and robots, helped survey and monitor the health of the forest while minimising the impact on the environment. Early lessons from this project on the practicalities of working in this protected environment are already being shared with other rural projects around the UK, ensuring the benefits of innovation stay in tune with their environments.

The 5G Digital Turbine Centre

The 5G Digital Turbine Centre project has explicitly created both a high-quality office accommodation and employment space within the council-owned Turbine Centre and also a programme of training and business support activities to engage, inspire and develop the skills of our current and future workforces. In recognition of the impact of the technologies that 5G enables (like augmented and virtual reality, autonomous vehicles, Internet of Things, machine learning, haptics and nanotechnologies) will have on every future area of work; our Digital Innovation Centre developed the first skills and education programme to look at the careers opportunities 5G could bring.

Our collaborations will carry on growing fixed and mobile broadband availability in Nottinghamshire and we will leave no stone unturned to secure further funding in addition to that already committed by the Government and the Council, so that our network goes even further and even faster.

Ceren Clulow features in our latest #MeetTheChampions video offering further insight into her role within the ADEPT Digital Connectivity Working Group and the challenges Nottingham faced during infrastructure rollout? View the latest video on our YouTube channel here.

Learn more about The Nottinghamshire Plan 2021 – 2031 and connect with Ceren Clulow via LinkedIn.

About Building Mobile Britain

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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

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