A trade body representing the UK’s four mobile operators reiterated calls for increased support from local authorities to meet a national target of improving mobile connectivity, including widespread access to 5G.

Mobile UK, which represents EE; Vodafone UK; 3 UK; and Virgin Media O2, highlighted the need for local authorities to appoint a dedicated person responsible for coordinating digital connectivity strategies in each area. It noted this would likely need to be funded by central government.

Commenting on a YouGov report on UK connectivity released earlier this week, Mobile UK director of policy and communications Gareth Elliott said action “needs to be taken now if we are to reach national targets and harness the positive impact which will be felt by a better-connected Britain”.

He added although digital connectivity was vital for UK’s future prospects, “much more needs to be done to deliver these ambitions at ground level. We believe the government needs to fund and empower local authorities to each have a dedicated champion with the skills and responsibilities needed to coordinate local strategies”.

The organisation and its operator members have regularly cited planning issues and difficulties accessing sites as barriers to providing 5G connectivity and meeting related government targets.

Mobile UK’s latest calls follow the publication of Connecting the UK: Getting the nation gigabit ready, a report commissioned by chartered surveyors and property consultancy Cluttons and undertaken by YouGov.

The study found the vast majority of local councillors supported the installation of modern fixed and mobile connectivity, though most were unaware of any explicit strategy for its deployment in their area.

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