Budget 2017: LGA responds to 5G and broadband announcement

Media release 8 March 2017

Responding to the £16 million to trial new 5G technology and £200 million for local broadband projects announced in today's Spring Budget, Chairman of the LGA's People and Places Board, Cllr Mark Hawthorne, said:

"The Government says 5G technology has the potential to make Britain a global leader in mobile digital connectivity. As such, we are pleased that they have listened to the LGA's calls to fund 5G trials in non-metropolitan areas as well as urban settings. These areas have a vital role to play in driving the growth of our economy but can be held back by poor connectivity.

"We also must not forget those outside our larger cities who still struggle to access 4G or even 3G technology. Councils are keen to work with mobile operators to improve the coverage they provide to local businesses and residents. The LGA has also called on Ofcom to provide more accurate local coverage reports that reflect people's experiences on the ground and provide a better picture of the coverage they will receive. 

"Access to fast and reliable digital connectivity is increasingly a necessity for households and businesses right across the UK. While the announcement of new investment in local broadband projects is good news, government must also commit to strengthening its Universal Service Obligation with a minimum download speed which rises in tandem with national averages, and places obligations on suppliers to provide a minimum level of upload speed.

"Local government is committed to exploring with the communications industry, regulators and government how best to ensure residents across the country can benefit from public investment in new technology wherever they live."

8 March 2017


David Mills
020 7664 3200