Agenda item - Greater Brighton Digital Strategy

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Agenda item

Greater Brighton Digital Strategy

Report of the Chair, Greater Brighton Officer Programme Board

Decision:

1)            That the Board notes the content and research findings of the draft Greater Brighton Digital Strategy (Appendix 1).

 

2)            That the Board notes the list of recommendations put forward in the draft Greater Brighton Digital Strategy and listed in section 5 of this cover paper.

 

3)            That the Board approves the Greater Brighton Digital Strategy in its current working format and supports the recommendation of an action plan with responsibilities, timescales and resources allocated appropriately.

Minutes:

14.1      The Board considered a report of the Chair, Greater Brighton Officer Programme Board that set out the draft Greater Brighton Digital Strategy. Connectivity had been identified as a priority in the Board’s Five Year Strategic Plan and activation of full-fibre infrastructure across the City Region had been identified as the key project within that.

 

14.2      Andrew Swayne stated that the report did not set a concrete plan, timeline and there was no mention of regular updates to the Board. Andrew Swayne observed that there was opportunities to interlink the Strategy with the work of the Greater Brighton Infrastructure Panel, One Public Estate programme and Transport for the South East.

 

14.3      Paul Brewer clarified that the report was focussed on developing understanding of the issue and there was a separate development process underway. This understanding concerned what the issues were, how they would be resourced and when each stage would start.

 

14.4      Dean Orgill stated that the proposals were a good example of what the Board could deliver, and it was important to have a strategy in place to map out and co-ordinate the process.

 

14.5      Trevor Beattie stated that there were good ideas in the report however, there had to be caution to not over promise and under deliver. Trevor Beattie stated that clarity on the pilot process would be useful as well as clarity on any actions that could be undertaken now. Furthermore, the SDNPA collaborate with planned work on rural connectivity.

 

14.6      Councillor Platts what guidance would be given to SME’s to ensure they were making technological investment at the right time. Councillor Platts also urged positive assistance in the roll out for older people and those with disabilities.

 

14.7      Nick Hibberd agreed that was a key challenge and proposed closer working with the Everything Connects Group in West Sussex to promote inclusion measures.

 

14.8      Councillor Walsh stated that it was key to have buy in from the communications companies on full fibre provision.

 

14.9      Paul Brewer explained that there would be a multi-mode delivery model with public sector involvement necessary to unlock a commercial commitment. This could include the public sector committing its own assets to assist delivery of full fibre. For smaller towns, it would be necessary to work with communities to build access networks to homes and businesses and unlocking commercial investment would be a challenge.

 

14.10   Councillor Ash-Edwards noted that West Sussex County Council had invested £21m of its retained business rates to fund digital investment. Councillor Ash-Edwards noted that commercial investment was unlikely in rural areas therefore, public intervention was likely and required.

 

14.11   Nick Hibberd stated that one challenge would be that a different approach on how to deliver ultra-fast broadband was taken by the many different providers. Nick Hibberd added that it would be useful to join up the various partner strategies.

 

14.12   Councillor Lamb stated that advancements in technology would change the economic landscape and that the priority should be on realising the economic impact of full fibre.

 

14.13   Paul Brewer replied that full fibre was the priority with the Digital Strategy an opportunity to follow on from the roll out. The roll out of full fibre to businesses would ensure that residential areas could also be picked up amongst that and the more widespread full fibre became, so too would 5G which was key to the outcomes the Strategy was seeking.

 

14.14   Councillor Lamb noted that homes were not necessarily located in the same areas as businesses.

 

14.15   Paul Brewer agreed and explained that public sector intervention would be necessary in more remote areas and would benefit sectors such as adult social care and intelligent agriculture.

 

14.16   RESOLVED-  

 

1)            That the Board notes the content and research findings of the draft Greater Brighton Digital Strategy (Appendix 1).

 

2)            That the Board notes the list of recommendations put forward in the draft Greater Brighton Digital Strategy and listed in section 5 of this cover paper.

 

3)            That the Board approves the Greater Brighton Digital Strategy in its current working format and supports the recommendation of an action plan with responsibilities, timescales and resources allocated appropriately.

Supporting documents:

 


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