A slow start-up for digitally excluded communities

27 January 2014

This meeting took place on 28 January 2014. Read the transcript here.

The Greater London Authority’s (GLA) Super Connected Cities Plan [1] has shifted from regenerating key locations with super-fast broadband, to a voucher scheme for small businesses dotted across the capital. What impact will this have on the Mayor’s regeneration plans for digitally excluded communities?

The London Assembly’s Regeneration Committee will examine the role of super-fast broadband in supporting regeneration efforts across London and the rollout of the GLA Super Connected Cities Plan (SCCP).

Guests will be questioned about the impact of the change in scope of the SCCP. The Committee will also look at opportunities for better connectivity in digitally excluded areas, where some parts of London experience just two megabits per second [2].

The Committee will question the following guests,

  • Andrew Campling, General Manager London, BT
  • Debbie Jackson, Assistant Director Regeneration, GLA
  • Jeff Lynn, Chair of the Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec), and Chief Executive Officer, Seedrs Ltd
  • Lisa McCance, Head of Economic Development, LB Croydon
  • Mike Smith, Virgin Media Business Director of Small and Medium Business propositions
  • Sue Terpilowski, London Policy Chairman Federation of Small Businesses

The meeting will take place on Tuesday, 28 January from 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.

Notes to editors

  1. In 2012 the government awarded £25 million to the GLA to fund its Super Connected Cities Plan (SCCP). The majority of the grant will fund vouchers for worth up to £3,000 small and medium sized enterprises to contribute to the cost of improving their broadband and enhance connectivity across London. The £25 million is part of the government’s £150 million Urban Broadband Fund to deliver superfast broadband across the UK.
  2. A Lords committee found that government has variously defined super-fast broadband as between 24 and 30 megabits per second, while industry definitions can extend to100 megabits per second or above.
  3. Gareth Bacon AM, Chair of the Regeneration Committee, is available for interview. See contact details below.
  4. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

Following the meeting the Regeneration Committee wrote a letter to the Mayor urging him to prioritise digital connectivity in the London Plan. Please see the letter in the related documents section below.