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Bristol Council outlines connectivity vision

18/01/19

Mark Say Managing Editor

Bristol City Council is aiming to provide superfast broadband to all its public spaces and social housing over the next decade as part of its 2050 Connectivity Vision.

Pin in map of Bristol

The plan is among those outlined in its newly published One City Plan, which sets out a series of targets for different elements of the city’s future.

This includes a broad aim for upgrading city Wi-Fi services to provide fast connections for social housing, businesses and public spaces, and points to the potential for virtual and augmented reality technology to bring together communities for social activities and entertainment.

It acknowledges the barriers, however, in saying that the affordability of broadband and data limits on some people’s mobile phones can limit their ability to access services.

The plan’s goals for the next 10 years include developing a public-private collaboration to provide a shared digital infrastructure for the city, ensuring that 5G connectivity is widely available, and extending the Bristol is Open network to create a testbed for smart city products and services.

It also points to using anonymised data from mobile phones to analyse walking patterns and support the development of a ‘walking infrastructure’.

Long term aims

Looking further forward, it wants Bristol to become the UK’s most digitally connected city in which 100% of public sector services can be transacted online with city-wide platforms and people will routinely use technology for health and social care services. There are also ambitions for a digital networking platform across city agencies to encourage collaboration between staff and across disciplines, and for the city to become a venue for trials of 6G technology.

The overall programme extends to a wide range of issues in which more resilient public services is one of the key aims.

Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees said: “As a city, we are responsible for shaping and investing in our future and so the One City Plan describes the Bristol we want to live in.

“While it’s important to recognise this is very much a first draft which will need evolving, it is most importantly the first time we have brought the city together and partners have created a long term plan together. 

“It is that commitment to collaboration that will help us succeed. We are stronger together and this plan will help everyone involved achieve new things, making the whole greater than the sum of its parts.

Image from iStock, tattywelshie

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