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Improving digital connections to make London a Smart City

05 February 2018

The capital is poorly served when it comes to digital connectivity, suffering from 'not-spots' or 'digital deserts' due to a lack of fibre connections and poor 4G coverage.

In its 2017 report, "Digital Connectivity in London" (1}, the Regeneration Committee found that London's economic productivity and international competitiveness face a significant threat from this deficiency.

  • For 4G coverage, London ranks in the bottom 5 UK cities with only 73.6 per cent.
  • London ranked 30th out of 63 cities across the UK for high speed broadband coverage.(2}
  • In Spain 83 per cent of all its buildings are connected to pure fibre. In the UK the figure is just 3 per cent or even less.

Before the Mayor launches his Smart London Plan in June 2018, the Regeneration Committee will hold a discussion on making London a Smart City, and how to improve Digital Connectivity within the Capital in general.

The following areas will be of particular interest:

  • Digital connectivity - connectivity is now a well known issue that needs to be addressed.
  • Smart cities - the impact of 'smart urbanism' and implementation of smart city technologies.
  • Piloting innovative approaches as the Mayor looks to regenerate Old Oak Common and Park Royal through the OPDC.

The following guests will answer questions:

  • Theo Blackwell, Chief Digital Officer, GLA
  • Dr Stephen Lorimer, Smart City Policy and Delivery Officer, GLA
  • Dr Katherine Willis, Associate Professor, University of Plymouth

The meeting will take place on Tuesday 6 February at 10:00am in Committee Room 5 at City Hall (The Queen's Walk, London SE1).

Media and members of the public are invited to attend. The meeting can also be viewed via webcast

Follow us @LondonAssembly and tweet about the meeting using #AssemblyRegeneration and #SmartCity.

Notes to editors

1. Digital Connectivity in London report

2. Still, data from Thinkbroadband collected for 63 UK cities at the end of 2016 show that London ranked 30 with 77.4 per cent of premises covered by ultrafast broadband connections, above the national average of 51.36.

3. Navin Shah AM, Chair of the Regeneration Committee is available for interview. See contact details below

4. London Assembly Regeneration Committee

5. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.


For media enquiries, please contact Samuel Casserly on 020 7983 4603. For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officer. Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.

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