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Posted on February 20, 2020 by staff

£65m to be spent on 5G tech in rural UK locations

The government is to spend £65m on the latest run of projects to improve the UK’s connectivity.

The funds form part of a £200m investment in testbeds and trials across the UK to explore new ways that 5G can boost business growth, improve the lives of people in rural areas and maximise the productivity benefits of new technologies.

Nine projects across the country will receive a share of £35m from its rural and industrial 5G competitions, launched in August of last year, and a new £30m open competition hopes to find new opportunities in the creative sector, logistics and tourism.

The 5G Connected Forest project in Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire explore the potential for 5G applications in the preservation of forests and their environment.

The project includes an app which will see Robin Hood tell the history of the medieval forest via VR and AR on 5G networks.

New robotic environmental management will also be tested alongside live monitoring of the health of Sherwood Forest to preserve the site for future generations.

Funding will also go to 5G trials in air and sea search and rescue in Dorset with the 5G RuralDorset project.

It hopes to use terrestrial and satellite connectivity to track critical equipment and pilot advanced search and rescue techniques.

This project will also trial 5G connectivity for remote farms to track crop growth, monitor livestock and reduce water pollution using 5G.

Test sites will also be set up in Yorkshire, Gwent, Monmouthshire, Orkney, Wiltshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire.

A further £30m will be made available as prize money for its 5G Create competition, launched to develop new uses for 5G in a variety of industries, including creative sectors such as film, TV and video games.

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “We’re determined to make the UK a world-leader in 5G and deliver on our promise to improve connections for people and businesses across the country.

“This includes seeing how it could create new jobs in the countryside, make businesses more productive and unleash even more ideas in our cutting-edge creative industries.

Tim Davie, Co-Chair of the Creative Industries Council and CEO of BBC Studios, added: £The Creative Industries Council is delighted that DCMS is launching 5G Create.

“We have been advocating a funded competition along these lines, as an exciting opportunity for UK creative companies to develop innovative products and services using this transformational technology. 5G offers innovative opportunities right across the sector from film and tv, to games, to music, fashion and advertising.

“We hope that start-ups and well-established companies alike will bid for the available funds.

The new 5G Create competition will open in early March and run until the end of June.