We had the pleasure of talking to Mikael Sandberg, Chairman of VX Fiber at our latest Connected Britain event, who explained how important it was to engage with the public sector and ensure all parties have their voices heard when it comes to fibre
At this year’s Connected Britain event, there was an overwhelming sense of optimism from the UK fibre community, both regarding the speed of the nation’s network build and the many positive impacts this will have for the UK post-pandemic.
But while the UK is rolling out full fibre faster than ever, it is clear that there is still much work to be done if government targets are to be met and the UK is to receive the full benefit from its improved connectivity.
For VX Fibre, a key part of the full fibre puzzle is better engagement with the public sector, who have a key role to play in the UK adoption. This was a major factor in VX Fibre hosting a Local Authority Forum for the public sector in the run up to Connected Britain itself.
“We’ve looked at what’s holding the UK back and we think that local authorities have a really important role to play,” explained Sandberg, who said that these organisations were often considered passive rather than active players in the fibre discussion. “They told us that they often meet with DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport), but they are only being spoken to. This forum was the first time that the industry could directly hear their voices.”
You can see our full interview with Mikael Sandberg from the link above.
In VX Fiber’s home market, Sweden, the close partnership between public authorities and network operators has been key to achieving an efficient rollout, something that Sandberg hopes to replicate here in the UK.
“One of the big lessons from Sweden is that public and private need to work closer together to achieve the outcomes and the benefits that both society and individuals are looking for,” said Sandberg. “We expect more local councils to become active in the fibre space and we’re really encouraging that.”
If the UK is to reach its lofty connectivity goals, more collaboration will be needed and a greater level of understanding developed, both for the public sector and ultimately the consumer themselves.
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