techUK is delighted to be partnering with the Greater London Authority (GLA) on this brand new telecoms summit.

techUK champions the tech sector throughout the UK. We work with local authorities, devolved government, and local and national policy makers to advocate for the tech sector in strengthening economic growth and resilience.  

As the UK’s capital and most populated city, London is often seen as a key driver of our economic power and growth – but does its connectivity match up? Do we risk ignoring some of London’s more unique challenges when it comes to rolling out fibre and 5G?  

techUK and the Greater London Authority (GLA) will convene some of the capital’s key connectivity players from across industry, public stakeholders and policymakers, and the businesses and service providers seeking to maximise the benefits advanced connectivity will bring to London.  

We will not be afraid to ask the difficult questions about the inclusive path London’s connectivity and coverage is following, and how digital exclusion persists for many of the capital’s inhabitants.  

  • What barriers does London face in meeting the growing demand for fast and reliable connectivity across the city?  
  • How can we ensure the rollout of fibre and 5G is inclusive and accessible for all Londoners?  
  • What unique characteristics do London present as a global city that other areas of the UK do not?  
  • What about connectivity across our transport networks?  
  • Can we better coordinate industry and local authorities? What role can the Mayor of London and GLA play?  

Please note, the event will end at 13:30 for non-Borough attendees. The Borough session hosted by the GLA will take place from 13:30 onwards.

Agenda:

10:00 - 10:30 Event Opening

Attendees to arrive and network in techUK membership area.

10:30 - 10:45 Keynote Speech

Theo Blackwell MBE, Chief Digital Officer for London will give the opening keynote speech. 

As Chief Digital Officer for London, Theo’s approach builds strategic capability through better digital connectivity, collaboration and joined-up city data to address the challenges faced by the city, such as achieving Net Zero, as well as prepare for advances in AI and other emerging technologies.

10:45 – 11:20 Panel 1 - London's competitiveness and global hub for business through the rollout of fibre and 5G

This panel will focus on the potential of London’s competitiveness and global hub for business through the rollout of fibre and 5G. 

London represents the UK’s most global financial centre – with unmatched human, market and digital connections. London’s growth as a global business hub and how we can make the city better for everyone fundamentally depends on the delivery of world-class infrastructure, including digital infrastructure. Building world-class infrastructure systems will support the connectivity London needs to bolster the economy and improve quality of life for everyone. Indeed, local authorities, Londoners, business, and operators share the ambition to deliver world-class digital infrastructure. 

In 2022, a study by Ookla, who run the Speedtest.net service benchmarking global internet connection performance, found that internet performance in London lagged behind the likes of Oslo, Lisbon and Helsinki despite London's compeitiveness and global for business.

Industry experts will include:

  • James Fredrickson, Chief Corporate Affairs, Vorboss
  • John Kavanagh, Director of Infrastructure, BusinessLdn
  • Andrew Conway, Director of Solutions, Innovation and Technology, Boldyn Networks
  • Sara Kelly, Digital Connectivity Lead, GLA

11:20 – 11:55 Panel 2 - Digital inclusion: ensuring the rollout of fibre and 5G is inclusive and accessible for all Londoners

This panel will focus on the digital inclusion of fibre and 5G, ensuring that it is inclusive and accessible for all Londoners. Connectivity is a key driver of digital inclusion, and the deployment of communications infrastructure can fuel the development of a digital society and be a main driver of economic progress. But areas of the capital remain poorly served, suffering from 'not-spots', and 'digital deserts'. 

In many council areas within London, a fundamental obstacle to maximising digital is connectivity and access to the internet - including fast wired broadband or to mobile broadband. Of further note, in 2022, a study by Ookla, who run the Speedtest.net service benchmarking global internet connection performance, found that internet performance in London lagged behind the likes of Oslo, Lisbon and Helsinki despite London's competitiveness and global for business. Enhancing digital inclusion remains a priority for both industry, the GLA and UK Government. 

Topics explored within this panel will include looking at the main digital inclusion strategies to support Londoners with digital connectivity, assessing the main challenges to inclusive digital connectivity across London and what more the National Government and Local Government can do to support the digital inclusion of all Londoners. 

Industry experts include the following:

  • Helen Milner, Chief Executive, Good Things Foundation
  • Elizabeth Anderson, CEO, Digital Poverty Alliance
  • Alex Williamson, Business Development Manager, ITS Technology Group
  • James Prowse, Regional Manager - Social Housing, Hyperoptic

11:55 - 12:10 Break

Attendees welcome to network in techUK membership area.

12:10 – 12:30 Presentations

Presenters include: 

  • Gabriele Caprotti, Streetworks Lead - Infrastructure Coordination, GLA 

  • David Wilkins, Head of Digital Place at Westminster City Council 

12:30 - 13:30 Networking and lunch

Lunch break offering a chance for attendees to network. Close of day for non-Borough attendees.

13:30 – 15:00 Borough session

Borough session, including presentations and updates for the boroughs, organised by the Greater London Authority (GLA). Topics will include insight into the PSTN Switch Off and sharing best practice of Council's Digital Strategies. 

Please note, this session will be solely for attendance by the Boroughs.

15:00 - 16:00 Borough Networking

Chance for London Borough representatives to network following the session for London Boroughs 

Confirmed speakers:  

Elizabeth Anderson

Elizabeth Anderson

CEO, Digital Poverty Alliance

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Theo Blackwell

Theo Blackwell

Chief Digital Officer for London, Mayor of London

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Gabriele  Caprotti

Gabriele Caprotti

Streets Lead - Infrastructure Coordination, Greater London Authority (GLA)

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James Fredrickson

James Fredrickson

Chief Corporate Affairs Officer , Vorboss

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Jamie Hayes

Jamie Hayes

Managing Director - Streetscape, Fibre, Boldyn Networks

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Vanessa Higham

Vanessa Higham

Government Affairs Manager, Vodafone

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John Kavanagh

John Kavanagh

Programme Director, Infrastructure, BusinessLdn

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Sara Kelly

Sara Kelly

Digital Connectivity Lead, Greater London Authority (GLA)

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Helen  Milner OBE

Helen Milner OBE

Chief Executive Officer, The Good Things Foundation

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James Prowse

James Prowse

Regional Manager - Social Housing, Hyperoptic

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George Robinson

George Robinson

Head of Government Affairs, Three

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David Wilkins

David Wilkins

Head of Digital Place, City of Westminster

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Alex Williamson

Alex Williamson

Development Manager, ITS Technology

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techUK Communications Infrastructure and Services Team:

Sophie Greaves

Sophie Greaves

Head of Telecoms and Spectrum Policy, techUK

Mia Haffety

Mia Haffety

Programme Manager - Telecoms and Net Zero, techUK

Tales Gaspar

Tales Gaspar

Programme Manager, UK SPF and Satellite, techUK

Matthew Wild

Programme Assistant - Markets, techUK

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