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Mobile UK urges govt to invest in ‘Digital Champions’ in order to level up mobile rollout

Paul Lipscombe
May 10, 2022

Funding and experienced personnel is key to the UK thriving in the mobile game says the trade body which represents the UK’s MNOs

Mobile UK has called on the UK government to invest in ‘Digital Champions’ in order for local authorities across the country to help coordinate and prioritise digital connectivity.

It comes as part of Mobile UK’s – the trade body representing the UK’s four MNOs – ambition to address digital exclusion as part of the government’s ‘Levelling Up’ agenda.

As part of its recent report, Mobile UK has urged the government to help better fund local councils to help push on with the UK’s mobile infrastructure rollout.

The report identifies five attributes that are required for a successful ‘Digital Champion’ role.

These include that the role should be fully funded, held at a senior level, come with political responsibility, experience and a focus on tangible outcomes, not outputs.

Mobile UK director of policy and communications Gareth Elliott said the government will be better able to achieve its levelling up goals with digital champions in place.

“The Government has placed enormous emphasis in its Levelling Up agenda on improving digital connectivity, particularly to reduce digital poverty and exclusion, but to achieve these goals it is important to understand the need to assist local authorities in helping to prioritise and coordinate mobile infrastructure deployment,” said Elliott.

“Our report highlights the role and dramatic impact a government-funded Digital Champion, can have on a council’s ability to play a positive role in the rollout of digital connectivity and to support the UK realise its goal of 5G rollout.”

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