Mobile telephone  mast with 5G text

Councils have to play a “vital role” in superfast broadband and 5G rollout

Ministers are calling on councils to help deliver digital connectivity ambitions across the UK.

The extent of these ambitions is 5G coverage across wider areas of the country as well as better access to fast internet with a goal to get gigabit (1000Mbps) internet in homes.

Government ministers have written to local authorities outlining how councils can play a pivotal role in boosting gigabit broadband rollout and 5G mobile coverage.

Earlier this year, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that £5bn was being set aside to make sure gigabit internet was accessible in previously inaccessible areas, in addition to £510m investment to expand the UK’s 4G coverage to 95%.

The Government has also expressed a commitment to 5G and full fibre access across the UK backed by a £6.8bn investment.

As well as this, the Government has also published a “plain English” guide to 5G to dispel myths about the technology and reiterate its importance in the UK’s economic development.

The document explains how 5G works, how it differs from previous telecommunications technology such as 3G and 4G and where people are likely to encounter 5G masts.

The guidance comes after a series of attacks on 5G masts because of rumours that the masts were somehow responsible for the spread of coronavirus.

Minister for Digital Infrastructure Matt Warman said:

“We want to help people get access to fast and reliable connectivity. It is a top priority for this Government.

“Councils have a vital role to play in the rollout of digital infrastructure and while there is good work going on up and down the country, there is more we can do.

“Today I’m writing to local authorities with new guidance and advice to help them break down some of the barriers to rollout and give them the tools they need to quell quack theories about 5G.”

PSE Dec/Jan 20-21

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