Digital Connectivity

We are told we live in a digital world. What practical steps can we take to get the speed, reliability and connectivity to support the ways we increasingly work, live, study and play now and in the future.

This is chaired by David Trevelyan. While perhaps the smallest of the sub-groups, this has done some significant work in unpicking the existing reality of connectivity in the District and in understanding future potential. For example members of the group attended a meeting of 5G rural testbeds and raised the significant practical issues around rural communities and technical assumptions.

Digital Connectivity published a report How Fast? How Good? is Your Broadband in the summer of 2019 which tested the real speeds of broadband experienced across the district given the government pledge of a 10MBps download by 2020. This target will be missed despite the efforts of Fastershire to upgrade the infrastructure for many. It is also working on a case study in the Bridging The Gap project with the Brockweir community which will complete in 2020.

Agreed projects include:

Smart Rural Leadership.

Nationally and internationally there is a significant gap in discussions around the Smart technologies and their real-world application in rural areas. Much thinking is underpinned by the proportion of people who live in cities where the density and service use enables adoption. The objectives of this project are focused on developing and sharing rural knowledge and raising the profile of the Forest of Dean as a place to test and trial technology sensitively and pragmatically.

Tech Nations is about gaining entry to the annual Tech Nations Report.

Despite hosting GCHQ in Cheltenham, the Berkeley Cyber Centre, the Newent Community Schools partnership with GCHQ, locally-based GCHQ technology partners based in Gloucestershire, and world leading local manufacturers using digital technology, Gloucestershire is not in the annual Tech Nation Report.

Mobility as a Service

MAAS explores the deployment of Mobility as a Service within the rural environment by creating real models of transport use to identify opportunities for individuals to increase their choice of travel mode and increase availability and uptake of sustainable travel in rural areas.