On the 3rd of August, BBC Click featured a report from Orkney, about the 5G RuralFirst testbed, as part of an episode on the future of food. With Scottish salmon an important food export for the local economy (as well as the top UK food export nationally), 5G has a lot of potential for agriculture and other industries to improve their productivity.
The Orkney Islands are one of the most rural areas of the UK, and historically residents have struggled with poor connectivity, both mobile and broadband. As of August 2018, 27% of all premises were still unable to get access to a download speed of 10 Mb/s.
5G RuralFirst is demonstrating how innovative new technology can bring connectivity to areas previously not well-served by regular mobile networks. Through technologies like neutral hosting, dynamic spectrum access, and software-defined radio, we are helping to prove the case that it is both affordable and practical to bring 5G to Orkney, and other rural areas.
5G is about more than just technology though – having access to reliable connectivity is something many of us take for granted. On the BBC Click episode, you’ll hear more about the new thinking, new business models, and changes from Ofcom to make it easier for communities to gain access to spectrum, and fill in the coverage black-spots.
You can watch the episode on BBC iPlayer at the link below – the part about 5G RuralFirst begins at 2 mins 45 seconds.