Archive for October, 2017

Ambitious proposals to map Norfolk’s mobile coverage revealed Proposals to create a definitive map of Norfolk’s mobile coverage which would be used to press for improvements in the county’s ‘not-spots’ will be discussed next week. At a meeting next Wednesday (8 November), Norfolk County Council’s Digital Innovation and Efficiency Committee will be asked to approve plans to commission a countywide survey of mobile voice and data coverage across all major networks providing services in Norfolk. As a minimum, the survey would be expected to capture coverage along all the county’s A and B roads, its major rail routes and stations, key tourist areas and in the urban centres of Norwich, King’s Lynn and Great Yarmouth. Once the results are known, Norfolk County Council intends to use them to strengthen the business case for further investment to boost mobile coverage. It would also enable the council to help telecoms providers find suitable locations for mobile infrastructure, which could include offering access, for a fee, to council or other public sector-owned assets such as offices, fire towers or even wind turbines. Tom Garrod, Chairman of the Digital Innovation and Efficiency Committee, said: “I think this is a fantastic proposal and exactly the kind of thing I want this committee and the council to be leading the way on. “We’ve seen a lot of progress with broadband access in the county as a result of our Better Broadband for Norfolk programme but progress on mobile coverage has sadly lagged behind. This survey will be a crucial start in improving mobile phone coverage across the county and networks. “Our survey would arm us with the evidence we need to not only lobby for improvements but also to suggest practical solutions to telecoms companies and bring about real change. I’m excited about the potential of this idea, if the committee agrees with me we’ll move quickly and look to publish the results in the new year.” The Digital Innovation and Efficiency Committee is due to meet at 10am on Wednesday, 8 November at County Hall. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

from Tom Garrod http://ift.tt/29b5HXB
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Multimillion pound bid to further improve county’s broadband to be discussed by councillors Norfolk county councillors will be asked next Thursday (12 October) to approve the development of a bid which, if successful, would see significant additional fibre optic broadband cabling installed in the county. The County Council has already submitted an expression of interest in the Government’s Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) programme, which is seeking to encourage further and faster deployment of full fibre broadband networks across the UK. Now the recently established Digital Innovation and Efficiency Committee is being asked to support a bid that could give Norfolk businesses the possibility to access funding to improve their broadband speeds up to one Gigabit speeds (1000 Megabits per second) and establish ‘digital hubs’ across the county to support residents and businesses, among other things. Tom Garrod, Chairman of the Digital Innovation and Efficiency Committee, said: “We’re determined to seize every opportunity to improve digital connectivity in Norfolk. Between the ongoing success of our Better Broadband for Norfolk programme and the clear priority we’re placing on strengthening Norfolk’s digital connections following the local elections in May, I think we’re in an excellent position to win money from the LLFN programme. “The projects being proposed have the potential to make a big difference and address some of the challenges we know people living, working and running businesses in Norfolk are facing. We know the Government also has plans to make funding available to roll out 5G mobile data connectivity, which is dependent on full fibre networks, and I’m extremely keen for Norfolk to get its rightful share of this have we have been overlooked in this area for too long.” The LLFN funding could also be used to extend fibre networks to more public sector buildings, such as schools and hospitals, which would not only help to improve their own broadband capabilities but also bring superfast fibre infrastructure closer to many homes and businesses, allowing them to access faster broadband speeds. If the committee approves the development of a full bid to the LFFN programme, the County Council would submit this on behalf of itself, Norfolk’s district councils, universities, the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, the Chamber of Commerce and other relevant organisations. The bid is likely to be for £13 million and would be submitted later this year. The committee will also consider a report that suggests Norfolk could benefit from establishing a regional anti-fraud hub, which would use technology to identify, stop and prevent fraud. This would be based on a model already established by the London borough councils and would be designed to help tackle fraud and corruption perpetrated against local authorities. Fraud costs local authorities an estimated £2.1bn a year and the report suggests an anti-fraud hub could save Norfolk councils money by enabling information and resources to be shared more effectively to prevent and detect fraud loss, bring fraudsters to account more quickly and efficiently, and improve the recovery of losses as a result.

from Tom Garrod http://ift.tt/29b5HXB
via IFTTT

Now about to leave Manchester after a very successful Conservative Party Conference. It was great to meet with Amazon Web Services to discuss how we can do things differently using their cloud based technology at Norfolk County Council. I also met with Microsoft to have a hands on experience of their Holo technology which mixes reality and virtual reality to discuss how it can be used in Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service as well as in our social care teams. Finally, I was privileged to be at Theresa May’s outstanding Conference speech. A cough, Lee Nelson, or a falling letter F failed to dampen her charming, passionate and her full of substance vision for our country. Her speech was everything I hoped for; she had a lot to prove and boy did she!!

from Tom Garrod http://ift.tt/29b5HXB
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