Buckinghamshire Council secures new 5G innovation regional funding

Buckinghamshire Council and its partners have won nearly £4 million of government funding to set up a new ‘5G Innovation Region’.

It means the council has become part of one of ten new 5G Innovation Regions. In Buckinghamshire we will be working as part of a region known as ‘England’s Connected Heartland’ (ECH), alongside Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Central Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

The 5G project focuses on two sites in ECH - Harwell Science and Innovation Park in Oxfordshire and the East West Rail corridor across the region including through Buckinghamshire. In Buckinghamshire, the project will focus on providing better connectivity to local communities using new East West Rail route to host 5G masts and boosters. The aim is to make sure rural communities and businesses can access 5G technology more easily. It will enable, for example, businesses in a rural location to better connect devices it uses with each other, as well as the obvious benefit of connecting to other businesses and organisations too. 5G provides faster and more reliable internet access, which supports productivity across various industries on various devices. This increased productivity can lead to additional GDP growth and the creation of new jobs. Better connectivity also brings environmental benefits, such as reduced energy and natural resource consumption due to less travel and increased remote working.

Overall, the aim is that ‘England’s Connected Heartland’ region will better digitally connect its businesses and organisations to drive forward economic benefits to the whole area.

Buckinghamshire Council Leader Martin Tett said:

“Buckinghamshire has been historically pegged back by not having the same sort of access to high-speed broadband and 5G that bigger cities benefit from and improving connectivity for our businesses and residents has been a really big priority for us.

Therefore, it’s really good news that we’re part of this project and have won this money to introduce more 5G technology along the East West Rail corridor. This isn’t about putting a lot of new masts up, this is about building 5G into the new infrastructure, so the only impact on our communities is positive, in that it will allow access across the piece to the 5G network and much better capabilities it offers homes and businesses.”