Laura Sharman 10 December 2019

London councils lack strategies and budget to rollout 5G, research finds

Most London councils do not have a strategy in place to rollout 5G networks, a new investigation has revealed.

A freedom of information request by Tech London Advocates found no London borough has a budget in place to implement 5G technology in 2019. Nearly all - 31 out of 33 boroughs - do not have a specific strategy for enabling the rollout of 5G networks.

Although six boroughs have a councillor specifically responsible for 5G or broadband, 30 boroughs have no staff responsible for implementing 5G.

The research also found not one of the London boroughs could confirm an anticipated date for full coverage in their respective territories.

Despite this, 13 boroughs have concessions contracts in place with communications infrastructure providers to use public street furniture.

Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates, said: 'The Greater London Authority must align all the boroughs under the same policy, proactively encouraging investment from network operators and fostering collaboration between them, businesses and land owners. Otherwise, London risks being one of the worst cities in the UK for 5G coverage – an unacceptable scenario when the capital’s global future is already under question.'

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