Digital Connectivity Programme

Delivered by the Local Government Association (LGA), the Digital Connectivity Programme is a grant funded programme that builds your council’s skills and capacity to take advantage of the opportunities offered by connectivity to your local place and communities.

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The programme will support councils to innovate their connectivity offer to give residents, local businesses and their workforce better connections to meet the challenges of further reliance on the internet exposed through the covid-19 pandemic. The inaugural year of the programme will look to support six local authorities from across urban and rural settings to leverage their position as place shapers to improve their connectivity offer. Lessons learnt will be shared throughout local government over the course of the programme.

The succesful councils have been awarded funding. They will be sharing learning and results as the projects progress which will be useful for all councils nationwide.

Please find a list of councils on the 2020 programme cohort along with a description of their project beneath.

Durham County Council The aim of this project is to independently benchmark mobile coverage via the process of connectivity mapping on council fleet vehicles, to produce qualitative, real-time data, to identify gaps in mobile coverage, in order to gauge an overall picture of mobile connectivity across County Durham.
Essex County Council Superfast Essex is raising awareness of the broadband infrastructure built and upgraded to full fibre broadband by targeting communications and outreach to residents on a hyperlocal scale via postcode data. As part of the project, they will be creating a toolkit on creating local Broadband Champions to promote connectivity in communities.
Northamptonshire County Council Ahead of new planning legislation expected in 2021, this project aims to help drive the provision of full-fibre connectivity to new build properties at the planning stage through a range of measures. The project involves the creation of a portal hosted by the Superfast Northamptonshire website. This will automatically pull information from local planning authority weekly lists relating to planning applications for new builds to highlight customer opportunities to telecoms providers.  
Royal Borough of Greenwich Council This project is seeking alternative ways of providing fibre connectivity to residents where commercial operators are not yet present. Activating the fibre and providing internet connectivity can be pursued by several potential options, including a council-operated network, a partnership with a single provider or an open access network. This project is seeking to develop an understanding of the approaches, benefits and challenges to provide connectivity over existing dark fibre in social housing and share with the sector.
South Hams District Council (in partnership with West Devon Borough Council) West Devon Borough Council and South Hams District Council have united to prioritise community led placemaking strategies to promote sustainable resilience of communities, businesses and employees. Through the funding of a regional Digital Connectivity Manager this project will work with partners, neighbouring councils and suppliers to design of a digital connectivity framework that may be rolled out across the UK.
Warwickshire County Council This project aims to extend digital connectivity in Warwickshire by supporting local SMEs and communities where rurality and commercial failure had placed areas into digital poverty. The project will provide mobile network equipment to 500 premises in a mixture of business and residential settings for vulnerable people and others suffering digital poverty.
Westminster City Council

This project aims to create a toolkit to accurately target not-spots and allow other authorities to do the same. This project involves data collection, research, and engagement to develop a clear picture of connectivity creating a top-10 list of target areas to improve connectivity. This will inform negotiations with providers to make the business case for the commercial viability in these areas. Once fibre is laid this will deliver strong social and economic benefits, improving the wellbeing and prosperity of communities.