Giving a voice to the residents of north-east Coverdale is important to Mobile Access North Yorkshire (MANY).
A priority of the project is to ensure that rural areas are heard, so funders and policy makers understand the everyday experiences of people living in the dale, and the hopes and concerns that emerge about bringing connectivity to an area.
This is a key requirement of MANY, which reports directly into its funders – the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. It allows residents, via the project, to inform the future of rural connectivity and how important it is for all residents – whether urban, rural or sparse – to be on par.
MANY’s research team from Lancaster University Management School have heard resident’s issues including how video conferencing and WIFI calling is not always reliable; people have slow upload speeds; and their inability to work ‘live’ on documents.
The project has, also, learnt that some residents are unsure that 5G offers an answer.
The project has previously explained how wireless connections using commonly used frequencies; upgraded fibre networks and moving hardware to software will provide this 5G network. This will provide a cost effective solution for areas.
But, what else will 5G offer residents.
5G gives ultrafast connections. This means whether residents are talking to their grandchildren abroad, video consulting with their GP or presenting to the World Health Organisation in Geneva, 5G could make their connections faster, more reliable and clearer.
However, access to 5G networks can offer more. 5G links to the Internet of Things (IoT); giving devices the chance to ‘talk’ to each other.
For example, sensors and computers can exchange data in real time to monitor equipment or utilities, such as water or gas; the ability to exchange medical diagnostic information at speed, for example, blood pressure or heart rates from GP surgeries or ambulances to hospitals; or homes being able to access SMART technology such as speakers or metres without a strain on the home network.
These are some of the many advantages of a 5G network. Understanding rural resident’s experiences, hopes and concerns means the project has the chance to ensure connectivity works for areas now and into the future.
If you live in the North East end of Coverdale and want to give your views or to find out more, visit the MANY website here.