Oxfordshire Voice Connectivity

FORUM 1: How can we ensure we get the digital future we need?

Forum date & Venue

Monday 22nd October 2018
Unipart House Business Centre, Garsington Road, Oxfordshire OX4 6LN

The Oxfordshire Voice forums were ‘kicked off’ at Unipart. OV set out to experiment with a number of formats to get the most out of the forums and help partners work together to decide what workable outcomes we could set as targets.

At this forum we opted for a panel-based discussion with Frank Nigriello of Unipart, who had been instrumental in getting OV off the ground, and Tony Hart from the Smart Oxford project as guest speakers and experts. We also used Unipart’s audience participation technology to help us put the various possible outcomes to an electronic vote.

An audience of 50 debated a number of issues around the digital future of the county – the agenda for the forum was driven by the feedback from the survey of the digital future which was sent to partners a week beforehand.

The thrust of opinion from the audience focused on the real need for a strong dialogue with those who provide the connectivity across the county. The forum felt there was also a lack of information from local and central government on the roll out of 5G technology. Another real concern was that outlying areas Oxfordshire, particularly those outside the main cities, were disadvantaged by a lack of superfast broadband connectivity. Again, there is not enough guidance on when superfast connectivity would be available.

It was agreed that greater dialogue and transparency was needed to outline the way the digital future is going to shape so it can be built into business plans.

Simon Howson-Green, Oxfordshire Voice

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