27th February 2020: Digital Connectivity for Productivity – Smart Rural 3

“Slow digital services are marginalising rural areas.

Rural inhabitants risk becoming “second-class” citizens in the digital revolution as urban dwellers benefit from next-generation broadband and 5G mobile, MPs have said.” The Guardian.

Latest figures suggest 8,500 businesses in Shropshire are located in areas in which it has been identified that more than 25% of lines are unable to receive broadband speeds over 10 mbps, with that figure as high as 46% in some locations.

What impact is this having on productivity in the county?  Is this a solvable issue? Our 3rd Smart Rural event will explore the challenges and opportunities rural businesses and communities have for improved communication technologies through the lens of People, Profit and Planet.

Hosted by Dr. Julieanna Powell-Turner and with keynote speakers from Smart Rural Scotland Co-op, the event will debate the current technologies on offer such as 5G, LoRaWAN and Airband. It will showcase examples of their applications for rural areas as a tool for connecting people and services across the sectors of environment and health.

Agenda (subject to change):

10:30am – Coffee and networking

11:00am – Opening remarks – Professor (v) Dr. Julieanna Powell-Turner, CREST@UCS

11:15am – Opportunities for digital connectivity between People, Profit and Place: Iceland Case Study of Smart Rural – Tinna Arnardóttir, University of Chester

11:35am – TBC – Nohman Awan, Balfour Beatty

11:55pm – Current picture of Shropshire in relation to digital connectivity – Chris Taylor, Shropshire Council

12:20pm – Intro and update on West Midlands 5G projects (WMCA) – Lesley Holt, WM5G

12:50pm – Introduction to Airband applications – Pip Hallewell, Airband

1:00pm – Lunch and networking

2:00pm – Case Study of Smart Rural Co-op Scotland – Paul Lindop, Smart Rural Co-op Scotland

2:35pm – Rural connectivity and business productivity – Dr Fiona Williams, University of Chester

2:50pm – Rolling out Connectivity – Becki Clark, Connected Places Catapult 

3:15pm – Introducing the concept of a Rural Mobility Toolkit – Valerie Hastie, Midlands Connect

3:30pm – Summary and close – Professor (v) Dr. Julieanna Powell-Turner, CREST@UCS

3:40pm – Room available for networking

Book your place here.

If you are unfamiliar with the term ‘Smart Rural’, this video provides some background to the concept of ‘Smart Villages’.

CREST@UCS is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)