IMPROVEMENTS in Dorset's digital infrastructure have been shown off to a government minister as Dorset continues to be at the forefront of mobile phone technology.

At Durdle Door last week, the minister for digital infrastructure Matt Warman MP met with bosses involved in the Dorset Council-led 5G Rural Dorset project, an £8 million initiative which aims to understand how rural communities could benefit from next generation mobile connectivity, backed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The minister met with David Savage, chief executive officer and founder of Excelerate Technology, the company delivering the project, who demonstrated a fully connected emergency response vehicle, which included live drone footage transmitted over the 5G network from nearby Durdle Door - a feat that was not possible in the county prior to the project.

The digital signage that alerts the public of sea conditions and tide times via smart buoys out at shore was showcased on the day.

Mr Savage said: "From protecting the coastline and the public to aiding first responders in Dorset, this project is paving the way for what is achievable in areas that have traditionally suffered from poor, or no, connectivity.

"While our 5G network infrastructure on this project has been delivered in around 18 months, it's actually 20 years in the making and a culmination of everything we have done over the past two decades to connect people's worlds.

"Robust and resilient connectivity shouldn't be a privilege, it should be for everyone and every sector regardless of location.

"This potentially life-saving information, where live updates of sea conditions and even cliff erosion would normally be inaccessible in areas that lack connectivity. It will also help to take some of the strain off ambulance and first responder services, not to mention agencies such as the coastguard and RNLI."

Minister Matt Warman said: "5G is about much more than having a faster mobile phone and I've seen some incredible innovation happening across Dorset with the help of government funding.

"Whether it's saving lives at sea, monitoring coastal erosion or helping our dedicated first responders, what we are learning in Dorset about this technology will help us improve lives and create new solutions to age-old problems."


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