To consider a report from the Director for Digital & Resources, a copy is attached as item 8.
Before the Committee was a report by the Director for Digital & Resources, copies of which had been circulated to all Members and a copy of which is attached to the signed copy of these minutes as Item 8.
The report provided an update on the progress made to deliver next generation digital infrastructure across Adur and Worthing council areas - providing widespread ultrafast internet access to homes, businesses and public spaces, creating the most digitally connected places in the south east.
The commercial roll out of fibre to homes and
businesses by Cityfibre was progressing
well and was on schedule with more than 3,000 homes passed to
The report focused on the next stage in the programme which was to provide free Citizen WiFi and an “internet of things” (IoT) network. These were key deliverables in Platforms for our Places and had even greater importance for the post COVID-19 world, where digital connectivity would play a greater part in everyone's lives.
Providing council-run Citizen WiFi to residents and visitors in key public places
would put Adur and Worthing in a really
strong position to innovate in high street renewal, tourism,
creative and digital arts, local
business growth and to provide essential access to the digitally
excluded. The Councils had become regional leaders in digital
infrastructure and with Citizen Wifi
and IoT networks, they would add two new highly valuable
layers to the civic digital platform.
The Committee welcomed the report and expressed their support for the proposals.
The recommendations in the report were proposed by Councillor Daniel Humphreys, seconded by Councillor Edward Crouch and unanimously agreed by the Committee.
The Joint Strategic Committee:
approved a revised capital budget of £3.7m, the increase
being funded through external funding, the revenue consequences of
which could be accommodated within the existing budgets;
noted that a procurement for Citizen Wi-Fi would be undertaken once
the design lab (see 1.5) was complete;
approved a budget of £25k in
2020-21, funded from the inflation budget, which would enable the
Councils to exploit opportunities in 2020-21 to commence design and
pilot testing of Citizen Wi-Fi. This approval would be on the basis
that the Councils’ return to the Joint Strategic Committee in
2021-22 to update on the progress and status of network
consolidation to reduce costs, and revenue generating activities
that aimed to address the revenue impact of Citizen WiFi expansion from 2022-23 onwards;
iv. approved the release of £300k in the period 2021/22 - 2024/25, noting that this would commit the Council to additional £75,000 funding in 2021/22 as previously outlined in the report to members on the 2020/21 budget which would enable the contract to progress.
The call-in deadline for this decision will be 5.00pm on 19 June 2020.