Funding support for Tayside mobile digital scheme

A pilot project aiming to greatly enhance mobile digital connectivity by using street furniture has been awarded £500,000 by the UK Government.

Mark Dowie
Thursday, 17th February 2022, 3:13pm
Funding support for Tayside mobile digital scheme

The Tayside-wide pathfinder aims to create a database of public sector-owned assets, such as land, buildings, streetlights and CCTV that would be suitable for mobile phone operators to install mobile network transmitters.

This newly-funded project follows on from the work of the Infralink programme, funded by the Scotland 5G Centre and delivered by infrastructure body, the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT). Infralink aims to streamline the process of installing digital communications equipment on public sector buildings and land.

The pathfinder project, Infralink-Exchange, will build on from this work to promote the installation of mobile transmitters, including small cells, across the Tay Cities region. When fully operational, it will attract the mobile industry to work with these local authorities and invest in improved mobile coverage in communities across the region.

Sarah Eynon, associate director at the SFT and Infralink project director, said: “Being granted access to a robust database of public sector assets on which to install small network transmitters is a constant ask of mobile network operators seeking to improving mobile coverage. With the public sector having one of the biggest property portfolios, we are using our public sector infrastructure expertise to help pull together this data that includes a wide variety of assets including street furniture such as lampposts and CCTV locations.

“While we’re using Tay Cities as the test site, key to success is being able to replicate the process of collecting data at scale, as well as ensuring the data is maintained and updated with minimal impact on local authority resource.”

Councillor David Fairweather, Angus Council leader and Tay Cities Region Deal Board chairman, added: “This project is an excellent opportunity to look at how engagement between forward-thinking local authorities and the mobile industry can be improved using relevant data to ensure that mobile infrastructure deployment can be delivered effectively and quickly.”

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