ITS Technology Group

About the author: Andy Bell is Head of Public Sector at leading full fibre provider, ITS Technology Group.

Building a Brighter Future Through Full Fibre: a cornerstone of thriving communities

Digitalisation has been a longstanding priority for local government, driven by the ambition to leverage modern technologies to deliver improved public services which by design enhance the quality of life and work for their communities. The road to digital transformation can often be fraught with a number of challenges, which might include a lack of funding and could be compounded by the focus being on short term goals rather than a comprehensive, long-term strategy.

The Transition to Full Fibre

The UK’s telecommunications infrastructure is getting a long overdue upgrade. As the nation's aging copper networks are being replaced with cutting-edge full-fibre cables, the communities they serve are gaining access to future-proof, high-speed connectivity and broadband.

Full fibre is a strategic enabler capable of underpinning the delivery of public services for local authorities, powering CCTV to help reduce crime and keep citizens safe, harnessing the Internet of Things and AI to create smart city solutions, helping for example, to reduce traffic congestion and lower carbon emissions. It is a catalyst for inward investment, creating jobs, opportunities, and ultimately boosting the local economy.

Local authorities play a pivotal role in this transformation as they strive to fulfil their strategic visions and seek innovative solutions that carve a better future for their constituents.

Building Infrastructure for the Long Term

Effective decision-making and influence within a local authority can make or break a digital strategy and its outcomes. The most successful public-private partnerships are characterised by early engagement that delves deeply into the realm of possibilities. This collaborative approach helps shape long-term plans that will benefit generations to come.

At ITS, we don't consider ourselves to be a supplier, but a strategic connectivity partner. We have built digital infrastructure across the UK which so far is in reach of more than 80 local authority areas. We have made it our business to understand the needs of this sector, which includes places on several procurement frameworks, including Crown Commercial Services' NS3.

Our track record is evident, from having signed the first UK concession agreement with Hammersmith & Fulham Council which utilised the Borough’s CCTV ducts to establish a network supporting businesses, to our innovative joint ventures including LCR Connect across the Liverpool City Region, and Digital Greenwich Connect in The Royal Borough of Greenwich – a commercial model which channels 50% of returns directly back to the local authorities to support their broader objectives.

Our mission extends beyond short-term goals. We aim to nurture lasting relationships, helping to bridge the digital divide by catering to the unique needs of each local authority area, rather than focusing solely on what is most commercially appealing.

The Significance of Social Value

While the economic advantages of full fibre infrastructure are well-documented, it's essential to consider the social value it can bring. The granular-level social value of widespread high-speed services is fundamental. Striving for an inclusive, equitable community lays the foundation for a forward-thinking society, enhancing lives. Social value takes various forms and should be tailored to meet the unique needs of each local authority area – examples include providing WiFi access in community hubs, creating apprenticeships, supporting local businesses, and offering digital skills courses for individuals of all ages.

Fostering Successful Collaboration

Success is directly linked to creating a strong partnership with active engagement from local authorities. Their involvement not only facilitates the logistical aspects of infrastructure deployment, but also ensures strong support for service adoption and future outcomes resulting from the infrastructure.

In the end, the significance of full fibre lies in its role as the cornerstone of our digital lives. Whether it’s the application of smart technologies in transportation or healthcare, a business relocating to the area, citizens working from home, or streaming the latest boxset; a fast and reliable connection is what makes them all work. The digital agenda must be designed to ensure that no one is left behind in this transformative journey.

Event Diary

Join the digital, data and technology community at DigiGov Expo – where public sector experts and innovators gain knowledge to transform government services.

Futurebuild, the built environment’s most influential event for innovation and collaboration is back for its 18th year, taking place at London’s ExCeL from March 5 – 7 2024. The event, which is set to be the most impactful yet, will continue its mission in taking a stand for a better built environment, showcasing groundbreaking ideas, creative and inspirational innovations and crucial collaboration to help us set the stage for a greener, more resilient future.

Register Now

In a world where communication technology is evolving at an unprecedented pace, staying ahead of the curve is crucial for both personal and professional growth. The Communication Technology Expo, scheduled for the 13th and 14th of March 2024, promises to be a pivotal event for anyone seeking to explore the cutting-edge advancements in the field. From networking opportunities to hands-on demonstrations and thought-provoking discussions, here's why you should mark your calendar for this immersive experience.

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