The government has announced funding to improve mobile connectivity in countryside communities.
The 5G Rural Connected Communities Project is a UK-wide competition, designed to ignite a tech revolution in countryside communities and help rural areas seize the opportunities of 5G mobile technology.
5G is the next evolution of mobile networks, offering mobile speeds 10 to 20 times faster than previous mobile generations (2G, 3G, 4G), taking the connectivity beyond the consumer focus on speed and data volume.
Through this competition, up to ten rural locations will be chosen to run innovative trials of 5G applications and stimulate commercial investment in 5G technology. The funding will build on projects like these and trial other uses of 5G in rural communities to help drive business growth, enhance lives and encourage innovation.
The initiative has an overall budget of £30 million. Grants ranging from £2 million to £5 million will be awarded to successful bids.
This competition is open to applications from consortia from across the UK, consisting of a mixture of organisations including the public, private and third sectors. Consortia should include at least one organisation capable of owning and operating 5G infrastructure and services in the area and projects must involve at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME).
Digital Secretary Nicky Morgan said:
“The British countryside has always been a hotbed of pioneering industries and we’re making sure our rural communities aren’t left behind in the digital age.
“We’re investing millions so the whole country can grasp the opportunities and economic benefits of next generation 5G technology.”
The deadline for applications is midday on 25 October 2019.