U.K. Project to Boost Rural Coastal Coverage for First Responders
Thursday, February 20, 2020 | Comments

A bid led by Dorset Council was awarded £4.335 million (US$5.6 million) to help understand how rural communities could benefit from next-generation mobile connectivity. Excelerate Technology is leading part of the consortium project that will deliver advancements in coastal connectivity, enabling first responders and supporting organizations’ access to digital communications applications.

Four trials in the county will look at innovative public, social and business uses of improved mobile coverage and test whether this connectivity can provide improved coverage and higher quality connectivity.

The UK’s coastal regions generate significant economic wealth and support a range of leisure activities that boost health and well-being. But the coast is overwhelmingly rural and can be dangerous. There are serious challenges communicating in such regions, with the first responder community and organizations including the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and General Lighthouse Authority (GLA) having limited access to digital communications services.

Working in partnership with the 5G RuralDorset consortium and RNLI/MCA, Excelerate will deploy a wireless network along a section of the coast to improve safety on coastal and cliff paths and track patterns of usage. The connectivity will improve access to applications and services, for example, the ability to alert users to local hazards including tidal dangers, cliff instability, extreme weather and other hazards disseminated by the GLA.

“Improving connectivity in Dorset is critical to achieving the economic growth we want, developing the digital skills we need for the future and to delivering excellent services for the people of Dorset,” said Deputy Leader of Dorset Council Peter Wharf. “This exciting project won’t banish all the county’s mobile phone not-spots but is an opportunity for Dorset to become a leader in Europe in understanding how next-generation connectivity can positively transform the lives and economies of rural communities.”

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