The Combined Authority’s Digital Connectivity Strategy, delivered through the multi-partner Connecting Cambridgeshire programme, is rolling out world class digital infrastructure to support businesses and communities, going further than the Government’s baseline for technology and coverage.
As well as targeting 99% superfast broadband coverage by the end of 2020, we are aiming to achieve full fibre coverage of over 30% by 2022, as well as working with mobile operators and government to improve mobile coverage as part of the new Shared Rural Network Programme.
The Digital Connectivity programme has already had positive effects in the region, with both superfast broadband and full fibre coverage currently tracking above the averages for England. This is a notable change from when the programme first started with coverage well below the England average at the time at less than 60% superfast broadband coverage.
Emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning together with big data techniques and increasing automation are starting to have a profound influence on growth and GVA prospects as well as wider social and economic impacts. The Combined Authority’s Digital Infrastructure Programme has maintained an agile approach and is able to react flexibly to rapidly changing government and commercial priorities to take advantage of all opportunities to promote inclusive growth across the area.
The Connecting Cambridgeshire Programme, led by Cambridgeshire County Council and co-funded by Peterborough City Council, was set up in late 2011 with a remit to improve the digital connectivity infrastructure across the area. Following the establishment of the Combined Authority, the programme was expanded with additional investment enabling a greater focus on stimulating commercial deployment and supporting better mobile coverage. A collaborative approach between Cambridgeshire Councils and the Combined Authority has seen all transport and infrastructure commissioning bodies in the area adopt an innovative new policy to examine opportunities to incorporate fibre ducting in all schemes by default from 2019 onwards.
New technologies are advancing and will be incorporated for improved connectivity with drivers via their cars, passengers via apps, providing data enhanced travel choices. The Combined Authority will include digital connectivity and utilities channels built in for future expansion, in Transport projects such as the A10 Dualling.
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