Agenda item

SFSY & BMBC Digital Activity Update - Julie Tattershall (Sac.12.02.2021/5)


Julie Tattershall, Projects and Contracts Manager, was welcomed to the meeting to provide an update on Superfast South Yorkshire (SFSY) and Accelerating Digital Barnsley.


Members heard how SFSY was a partnership between the four South Yorkshire local authorities, Building Digital UK, Openreach and the Local Enterprise Partnership.  So far SFSY had increased availability of superfast broadband from 80% to over 90% bringing nearly 120,000 new connections. In addition support had been provided to SMEs on how to gain the benefits of connectivity and advice relating to infrastructure had also been provided to developers and to planning departments.

Members noted the current activity being undertaken, including working with Openreach to provide fibre to the premises for 8,000 homes, inputting into digital strategies in Barnsley and the City Region and also being consulted on digital connectivity as part of the planning process.


Noted was the work undertaken in the South Area with a total of 2,948 properties now having improved connectivity.


Those present heard of the work of Accelerate Digital Barnsley which included efforts to increase gigabit-capable broadband infrastructure from commercial providers such as City Fibre, to stimulate demand through voucher schemes, and to ensure all new residential and commercial sites were future proofed with gigabit capable infrastructure.


Members also were made aware of Internet of Things (IoT) work to utilise technology in smart ways, collecting data to be used for strategic decision making. An example of temperature sensors being used to help decide when to deploy gritters was given.


It was noted that officers worked with network providers to plan the installation of 5G provision over the next two years.  It was noted that liaison included supporting the planning process to ensure smooth roll out.


Members acknowledged the strategic linkages being made and social value opportunities created, and noted the example given of utilising technology to allow video calling in care homes.  The work to address digital exclusion was also acknowledged.


Members discussed the impact of the pandemic and reliance on data for work and schooling, noting the effect on those digitally excluded.  The expense of connections, and the complexity of contracts used were also discussed. Work to ensure children and young people had access to laptops and affordable connections was acknowledged.


Noted was the work in the area by Openreach and other providers such as Virgin Media, which would contribute to the Government target of all properties being able to gigabit enabled by 2033.


RESOLVED that thanks be given for the presentation, and that its content be noted.

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