The digital rationalisation of Dorset Council

UK Authority

Matt Prosser, chief executive of the new local authority, explains how it is consolidating digital systems without neglecting the scope for innovation

A consolidation of local authorities is nothing new, but the lessons of the past are of limited value as Dorset Council prepares to become a new entity.

Its chief executive, Matt Prosser, says it has looked at the experiences of Cornwall, Wiltshire and Cheshire East and Cheshire West from a decade ago, but Dorset’s coming together is taking place in a different environment.

“The local government landscape has changed quite dramatically since then, so while we can take some of the lessons we have to find our own path,” he says. “And the digital landscape has changed in those 10 years so it’s hard to take any firm lessons from there.”

New report states people, not technology, must be the focus of smart city planning

Intelligent Transport

‘Rethinking Smart Futures’ draws on five expert roundtable discussions that took place with industry leaders, policy makers and academics throughout 2018.

Failing to put people above technology in the planning of smart cities and transport networks could lead to divided and socially exclusive communities across the UK, says a new report.

In the ‘Rethinking Smart Futures’ report outlines a new vision for smart cities that are socially inclusive and focused on people, enabled by transport and powered by technology and data.

Why does the London Underground still not have Wi-Fi in tunnels?

Wired

The London Underground will soon get 4G, but don’t plan on streaming Netflix on your commute anytime soon

Want a quick digital detox? In London, all you need to do is take the Tube. But, from next year, Transport for London (TfL) says it will roll out 4G coverage on the Underground. It’s a start, but London is still some way behind its big city rivals.

That 4G coverage will join the Tube’s Wi-Fi network, which, since 2012, has let people get online while travelling through London’s myriad of Underground stations. Unlike the metro networks in many other major cities around the world though, in London you can browse only while you’re at a station. So if you’re sitting on the Tube and have that all-important email to send, you will be off-the-grid while you’re in the tunnel; as soon as your train pulls in, it’s a mad dash to find the network and connect, in the hope your train doesn’t pull out just as you hit the ‘send’ button.

Sustaining the Smart City

Compare the Cloud

Smart technology is ever increasingly present in the everyday lives of communities around the world.

As urban areas become increasingly reliant on information technology, IoT gadgets, and wireless networks – evolving into smart cities-, sustainability becomes more and more significant. Cities like this must remain conscious of sustainable solutions to combat urban growth and CO2 emissions. Luckily with smart hnology, many issues surrounding sustainability can be curbed despite energy usage and growing populations. For example, smart meters installed in houses help homeowners and tenants monitor their energy use.

National Infrastructure Commission: Progressing the North

Public Sector Executive

The National Infrastructure Commission’s (NIC) National Infrastructure Assessment was released in July 2018, making a variety of recommendations ranging from digital technology growth to making the switch to low-carbon energy sources. Professor Sadie Morgan, commissioner at the NIC, delves deeper into how northern cities can be improved for generations to come.

It’s no wonder that the heritage of the north of England is recognised the world over. Few places can rival the mark the north has made on the arts, design, and culture – and that’s before we even consider its place as the cradle of industry.

From Channel 4 setting up its new headquarters in Leeds to companies like Microsoft and Google opening offices in Manchester, there’s a renewed buzz in the north. However, like most of the country, its cities are suffering from congestion, with transport networks under strain, declining air quality, and greater pressure put on local housing markets.

Prepare to seize the power of 5G

Public Finance

As well as eyewateringly fast speeds, 5G could revolutionise healthcare and cut billions off council costs, writes John Thornton. 

A recent report from O2 claims the introduction of 5G will save councils £2.8bn annually, free up 1.1m GP hours, save the average household £450 and generate productivity savings of £6bn for UK cities. Projected savings on this scale deserve further investigation. 5G is short for fifth-generation mobile networks.

Three Factors to Smart City Security (Contributed)

Govtech

No city official wants to see the growth of their smart city initiatives hindered by poor cybersecurity. Here are three ways CIOs can ensure security while benefiting from connected technology.

A smart city seems to be the goal that many city officials are striving for today, the sign that a city has enough advanced technology to support its citizens’ needs. Yet, what exactly is a smart city? To us, it’s not just the use of technology to make things work more quickly; rather, it’s the use of a variety of technology — such as IoT devices, data and services — to break down silos across a city to be more efficient. Whether it be a parking kiosk, road sensor or smart traffic signal, the use of technology to improve a service and connect is when a city truly becomes smart.

GDS recruiting for people to lead new Global Digital Marketplace

Diginomica

The Government Digital Service (GDS) announced plans early last year to expand the Digital Marketplace, making it a platform for governments around the world to use.

The Government Digital Service is recruiting for new roles to head up the delivery of the much anticipated Global Digital Marketplace, an extension of the innovative procurement platform that has diversified the supplier base for British government and opened up the market to SMEs.

Apple will struggle with 5G for years – analyst

Telecoms

Not only will Apple lag its competitors by at least a year in launching a 5G phone, it might still suck anyway according to a semiconductor analyst.

Bloomberg apparently got hold of a research note from Matthew Ramsay, who heads up the TMT semiconductor business at Cowen. He seems to reckon Apple has boxed itself into a corner by ditching Qualcomm as a 5G modem supplier and is now seriously short of good options in that area. He also expressed surprised that Apple has allowed this situation to develop.

Ramsay detailed four main options for Apple for 5G, but he doesn’t think any of them are great. The first is what is generally assumed: that Apple will launch 18 months behind the competition with an Intel 5G modem that is expected to be inferior and not even support mmWave. The recent MWC show saw the first 5G phones launched, but Apple tends to announce new iPhones in September, hence the big lag.