Connecting Cambridgeshire is the partnership which has brought together a comprehensive approach to creating the right climate for our county’s digital future.Together the county, city and district councils are delivering a programme of projects that will increase connectivity, competitiveness and community well-being. We believe that we are unique in this programmed approach which recognises the importance of digital infrastructure and inclusion to creating a successful communities for the future.
Our participation in the TSB’s Future City Demonstrator competition in 2011/12 shaped our strategy. It encouraged us to connect the projects and activities already underway and stretched out thinking about smart and future cities. It also challenged us to think about the more than half a million population of the county who don’t live in the city but who should also benefit from ‘future city thinking’.Use digital opportunities: social media, future Internet, mobile technologies and new applications.Maximise the potential of our interconnected industry clusters.Develop cross-sector solutions bridging the built environment, ICT, energy, transport & mobility and Big Data for sustainable, digital places.We continue to be involved in the Future City SBRI competition as a test bed city for the data challenge. Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants have been a successful first round winner, along with four others and we look forward to the first SBRI workshop on 13 November.
Digital and social exclusion are now synonymous. Whilst there has been progress on narrowing digital divides with a rise in Internet access for lower income groups, people with no formal educational qualifications, retired people, and individuals with disabilities: life chances are considerably impacted for those digitally excluded. Children do less well in their educational attainment if the family is not connected at home, for example, and this impacts their life-time earnings potential. Older people online at home feel less isolated and lonely which impacts on their health and well-being. Next generation users were defined as people who both use at least two Internet applications on their mobile phoneown at least two of the following: a tablet, a reader, or three or more computers.A new, growing digital divide between people who are next generation users and those who are not. Next generation users tend to be more effective users of the Internet for leisure activities and also for job and work information. This suggests that the benefits of the Internet will flow disproportionately to them. Their interest in content creation suggests they will disproportionately influence public debates.
Using a combination of indicators – measures of social and digital exclusion from multiple sources – we have mapped Cambridgeshire.This heat mapping has helped us to identify unexpected areas of social and digital exclusion to tackle.Mapped on the likelyhood of a place receiving commercial broadband roll-out using work undertaken by Analysys Mason in 2011, in many cases the high exclusion measure is due to rurality and access to broadband is a key intervention to address this.
The areas in grey indicate where there is one broadband provider and dark grey 2 or more providers planning commercial roll-out of broadband by 2015. They remaining area is the scope of Connecting Cambridgeshire.By end 2015, 90,000 additional premises able to access superfast broadband.
Set of activities supporting improved mobile coverage and better public wifi.
Cambridgeshire Digital Future | Festival of Ideas 30 Oct 2013
Wed 30 October 2013
• Increase the availability of fast
• Encourage SMEs to optimise their
use of digital technologies
• Support those not (or rarely)
online & increase digital literacy
• Increase take-up of faster
• Establish Cambridgeshire as a
place to test and innovate
Digital and social exclusion
% not online
Next generation user
• Entering long tail of adoption, 4
million households without
– 59% said they 'did not need it‘
– 20% indicated lack of computer
– 12% equipment & access costs.
• Growing pattern of access
‘anywhere at anytime’.
• New, growing digital divide
between next generation users
and those who are not
Source: Office for National Statistics “Internet Access - Households and Individuals, 2013” (UK households from 1998 to 2004.
Great Britain households from 2005 to 2013.)
Digital and social exclusion
• Digital inclusion activities
targeted at excluded
demographics – elderly,
disability, low income.
• E.g. ‘Between the Lines’
uses commemoration of the
Great War centenary to
collect/share memories and
valuable archive material
• Place-based approaches
Source: ‘Between the Lines’ http://great-war.ccan.co.uk, ESD-Toolkit ‘Digital and Social Exclusion’ 2012
Fixed broadband – £45m invested
Strong growth in availability
and take-up of superfast
broadband in Cambridgeshire:
• In June 2013, 21% of
were superfast, compared
to 8.2% in 2012.
• By end 2015, 90,000
additional premises able to
access superfast broadband.
Source: Ofcom’s Infrastructure Report 2013 Update
Mobile and WiFi networks
• 94% of UK adults use a
mobile phone, 53%
• 15% homes are mobile-only
• 3G in Cambridgeshire from
all operators was only
41.5% in June 2013
• Public WiFi complements
Source: Ofcom’s Communications Market Report 2013 and Ofcom’s Infrastructure Report 2013 Update
• Over £4.5million to help businesses afford faster broadband
connections and make the most of digital technologies
• Launching in January 2014
• Eligible companies will be able to apply for match-funded
grants and one-off payments of up to £4,000
• Advance registration at
• Consolidating activities to
deliver the interconnected
elements for a digital future.
• Costs and benefits are over
a broad range of both public
and private organisations.
• Digital exclusion elsewhere
in county matters to
growth and social capital.