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Call for improved internet connectivity as London marks Tech Week

  • By Gemma Kappala-R...

As businesses and the public sector across the capital mark London Tech Week (20-26 June), figures have revealed that over 50% of residents think improving mobile and internet connectivity should be a top or high priority for the capital. 

According to the research, a quarter of Londoners think the level of investment in mobile and internet connectivity is too low. In addition, just over a third of people under 55 consider digital connectivity to be a high priority compared to under a fifth of people aged over 55.

Now, London Councils – which represents London’s 32 borough councils and the City of London – is calling for the creation of a London Chief Digital Officer post to oversee and champion the capital’s broadband needs. 

Cllr Claire Kober, London Councils’ executive member for infrastructure and regeneration, said:

“Residents and businesses across the capital have made themselves clear: the rollout of superfast broadband must be a top priority if London is to stay ahead of the game and promote itself as a first-class business destination. 

“London local authorities are being incredibly innovative in the way they utilise data and technology to promote economic growth and transform services, but they are limited in what they can do until superfast internet is rolled out consistently – from the city centre to the outer boroughs. 

“There are still many areas where broadband is weak or patchy, and we now want to see a Chief Digital Officer appointed to drive forward a world-class digital strategy and champion London’s broadband needs.”

The research – undertaken by Icaro and Copper Consultancy on behalf of London Councils – also revealed that:

  • 43% of people living in north London felt the level of investment was too low, compared to 34% living in south London.
  • 75% of women said better internet connections should be a high priority for the city, compared to 51% of men.
  • People living in flats and renting (57% and 42% respectively) were more likely to consider digital connectivity a priority than those who are homeowners (42%)