Council of the Future: Is it 5G?

  • techUK techUK
    Friday03May 2019
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    What does the council of the future look like? Guest blog by Georgina Maratheftis, Head of Local Public Services here at techUK as part of our #The5GFuture campaign...

A truly digital council will be more connected and integrated with citizens, communities and businesses reaping the benefits. Using digital to reimagine service delivery that is user-centric and meets users’ needs. In adopting a smarter, more holistic, vision of the citizen and place, communities are motivated to come together with shared values and skills, and to drive a better quality of life for all. Citizens are at the heart of local problem-solving and decision-making to deliver better outcomes. 

Data is at the heart of decision-making, enabling predictive services and a shift to early intervention to manage demand better. Tackling cross-cutting challenges in a cost-effective and productive way. 

That’s the vision. But achieving the vision is no easy feat. In previous blogs I’ve looked at how emerging technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, can help to reimagine local public service outcomes. However, having the right digital connectivity and infrastructure in place is fundamental in accelerating technology as well as maximising regional growth and driving public service reform. Great connectivity offers citizens seamless services, where they can efficiently make transactions, access jobs and get the most out of the digital world and their community. Getting the digital infrastructure right and providing ubiquitous connectivity is the backbone to any digital transformation or starting point in creating a smart place and community.   

A report by O2 - The value of 5G for cities and communities found that local authorities will collectively share an annual £2.8 billion of efficiency savings, from reduced social care costs for the elderly through 5G monitoring, to savings through smarter street lighting.  

5G opens a whole range of new possibilities and helping to create places where citizens want to live, work and feel safe. From smarter refuse collections to intelligent lighting. The real-time connectivity offered by 5G could enable smarter and more efficient rubbish collection services, indicating when and where bins need emptying or replacing within a given area. 

Collaboration 

To realise the potential of 5G a collaborative approach is needed both within a local authority and with telecommunications industry. From relevant planning teams being aligned and working with industry to design and deliver 5G connectivity in across the place and local area. Just like with any transformation the technology is always the easy bit. Recognising this, techUK is pleased to be hosting a roundtable on 16 May with Southwark Council on laying the foundations for a better-connected place. It’s an opportunity for local authorities and vendors to come together to share learning and best practice as well as explore how we can better work together to facilitate improved outcomes for citizens. can view further details and register here.  

To read more from #The5GFuture Campaign Week visit our landing page by clicking here! 

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