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Combined Authority presses green button for digital connectivity


Combined Authority presses green button for digital connectivity

Reliance on digital communication during the pandemic was high on the agenda at the Combined Authority board today when members approved the ‘Digital Connectivity Business Case’ and £4.5 million to fund it.

Members heard how the Covid-19 pandemic dramatically accelerated reliance on digital connectivity in almost every aspect of 21st century living.

Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Dr Nik Johnson said

“Access to healthcare, jobs, education and training has become highly dependent on digital connectivity, and this has really highlighted and exacerbated the “digital divide.

“Families and individuals without access to connectivity are effectively excluded from the benefits of economic growth, health inequalities are exacerbated, and children’s life chances are damaged.

“We’re committed to sustainable growth across the county and digital connectivity can go a long way to help meet the key challenges of our age, from cutting transport related emissions and mitigating climate change, to the management of scarce resources including water and energy.”

The Digital Connectivity Strategy 2021-25 will underpin the Combined Authority’s sustainable growth ambitions for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, helping to ensure that digital connectivity infrastructure is available across the whole county, accessible to all,  supporting effective public services, thriving communities and good, green business growth that can endure.

In January 2021 the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Board earmarked funding of £6.3m as part of the Medium-Term Financial Plan to 2025 to support the next stages of the digital connectivity programme. The budget for 2021/22 was approved, with the remaining £4.5m subject to today’s approval of the business case.