New 5G Internet Infrastructure Project

New 5G Internet Infrastructure Project

The UK government has launched The Urban Connected Communities project, the latest stage in a programme which is trialling 5G internet technology. Its aim is to establish the best practices for the wide-scale digitisation of cities throughout the country. To put it into practice, the department for digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) is now seeking cities with a population of 500,000 interested to help deliver the project.

The project will be testing the functionality of the latest 5G technology, as well as exploring a variety of applications and testing how viably these could make communities safer, greener and more efficient. These applications include: real-time traffic monitoring and management through the use of sensors, high-speed video consultation technology for doctors, facilitating remote treatment for patients who are unable to travel, and augmented and virtual reality technologies for use in tourist venues.

Each one of these applications will rely on the high-capacity capabilities of the 5G internet technologies, which will be fundamental to the future of smart cities. In recognition of this, the Urban Connected Communities project will receive £200 million from a UK government fund as part of a broader £1 billion investment in next-generation digital infrastructure.

This is a huge opportunity for an urban area to become the flagship of our ambitious programme to make Britain fit for the future and a world leader in 5G, said Margot James, the minister of State for DCMS. Trialling 5G at scale across an entire city is a chance to prove the economic benefits predicted from this new technology, test different methods of deployment and boost the connectivity of ordinary people working and living there.

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