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Last edited 13 Sep 2021
Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Accelerator DCIA
On 9 September 2021, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) announced a competition for a Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Accelerator (DCIA) pilot run by DCMS and supported by the Department for Transport (DfT). The competition explores ways to make it simpler and quicker for mobile companies to use publicly owned buildings and kerbside infrastructure to host 5G radio equipment.
Availability of 5G is expected to broaden the role that mobile technology plays in society by paving the way for virtual and augmented reality services and helping drive the take-up of innovations such as autonomous cars and remote healthcare technologies. It is also expected that reliable 5G availability could support improved real-time monitoring and responsiveness in order to reduce waste, pollution or congestion.
 Local involvement
The two-year pilot may trial street lamps, CCTV poles, bus shelters, public buildings, traffic signals and other roadside resources to host 5G radio kit intended to boost coverage. This approach is believed to be cheaper, quicker and less intrusive than traditional phone masts. However, network operators sometimes find it difficult to acquire the information needed to verify that a structure is suitable, such as its location, physical dimensions, proximity to the street and access to a power source.
The Government is piloting digital asset management platforms to enable local councils to share data that mobile companies need to accelerate their 5G delivery plans. Once the pilot is complete, the Government intends to support local authorities on the nationwide adoption of digital asset management platforms.
Local and regional authorities are being encouraged to form partnerships with industry to submit joint proposals for pilot project funds. The deadline for applications to the competition is 18 November 2021.
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