Building Mobile Britain: The Case for Local Authority Digital Champions

Published: 10/05/2022

Author(s): Other

The case for local authority

Key takeaways:

Mobile UK is calling on the UK Government to fund Digital Champions for local authorities to help coordinate and prioritise digital connectivity to better enable mobile infrastructure deployment and to assist with the Government’s ambitions to address digital exclusion as part of its Levelling Up agenda. The call is made by Mobile UK, the representative body of the UK’s four mobile network operators, EE, Three, Virgin Media O2, and Vodafone, and comes as it publishes a new report highlighting the urgent need for Digital Champions to help coordinate mobile infrastructure rollout. The report calls on the UK Government to fund these roles, recognising the financial restraints of local authorities and the importance of digital connectivity whilst alleviating a lack of awareness and understanding about mobile infrastructure in order to improve resources and smooth the rollout of digital connectivity across the UK. The report, published on 10 May, titled Building Mobile Britain: The Case for Local Authority Digital Champions, showcases how local authorities who have already embedded a focused digital strategy are streets ahead of those who have yet to create a plan. It seeks to highlight how Digital Champions, funded by the central government, put in place to coordinate local authorities’ digital strategies and relationships with the industry, can have hugely positive outcomes in the smooth deployment of mobile networks and in building more effective relationships both within councils and with telecommunications providers. The report outlines five minimum key attributes needed for a successful Digital Champion role: Should be fully funded Held at a senior level Have political responsibility (be supported by cabinet-level elected representatives) Have demonstrable skills and experience Focused on tangible outcomes, not outputs



Case Studies


Tech UK

There are many benefits of digital transformation including the flexibility it gives us to interact with residents and colleagues. We have seen the way in which hybrid and virtual meetings have enabled us to meet with fellow councillors and the public from across the country, without time consuming and environmentally impactful travel, allowing for critical decision making to be made democratically and without delay during times of emergency.