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Suffolk Digital Campaigning Group launched!

An initiative aimed at boosting business awareness and use of 5G mobile and other cutting-edge communications technologies to gain competitive advantage has been successfully launched in the county.


The Suffolk Business Digital Champions Group is funded by the Suffolk Public Sector Leaders’ Group (SPSLG) for the next three years and is based on a proposal from Suffolk Chamber of Commerce.

With a membership of local businesses, communications companies, the mobile operators’ trade body Mobile UK and council representatives, the first meeting of the Group took place recently.

Attendees heard about the national situation for 5G infrastructure and the variables which influence its rollout, the hesitancy of some Suffolk business sectors in investing in 5G-dependent technologies because of concerns about the current infrastructure and coverage, as well as the transformational potential of the ‘internet of things’ in boosting productivity, reducing new product development turnaround times and better asset management.

As a result, the Suffolk Business Digital Champions Group has identified three key areas where it believes it can help boost awareness, rollout and usage levels, as well as influencing the emerging Suffolk Economic Strategy:

  • Education: (primarily to businesses, but also more broadly in terms of informing communities) via information updates, case studies, site visits and targeted events
  • Advocacy and relationship building: including improving relationships with relevant Government departments so that Suffolk is better positioned to take advantage of future funding opportunities, using the Champions Group as a clearing house to help facilitate better working relationships between mobile operators and planners, and conducting quarterly research to identify ongoing trends and challenges
  • Supply side improvements:  including developing a countywide site matching database for prospective infrastructure sites and encouraging a greater degree of planning advice consistency across Suffolk’s districts and boroughs

Chair of the Suffolk Business Digital Champions Group Sarah Steels, chief transformation officer at the East of England Co-operative, said: “This was a very positive start to this campaign. The meeting emphasised the opportunities and challenges of ensuring that Suffolk’s SMEs, and those in rural areas in particular, are given every opportunity to reap the benefits of 5G and other new technologies, so that they can grow and compete not just nationally, but internationally as well.”

An SPSL spokesperson observed: “By launching the Suffolk Business Digital Champions Group, we are taking a significant step towards empowering our local businesses with the latest in communications technology. This initiative underscores our commitment to creating an environment where Suffolk enterprises can thrive and compete on a global scale. Through collaboration, education, and strategic advocacy, we aim to not only enhance 5G infrastructure but also to ensure that our businesses and communities are well-prepared to harness the full potential of this digital transformation.”


Paul Simon, Suffolk Chamber’s head of public affairs added: “Our aim is to ensure that the Suffolk Business Digital Champions Group acts as the catalyst to help speed up 5G rollout and use and to ensure that Suffolk is towards the front of the queue in reaping maximum business and social benefits from this and other new technologies.”

Digital Champions Group

Suffolk Chamber is setting up a 5G Digital Champions Group. Local councils support it with key political leaders and planners participating to improve the awareness of the positive benefits of 5G, improve relationships between the mobile industry and planning authorities and advocate for improved infrastructure, including along the A14 Growth Corridor, for the benefit of Suffolk business growth.

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Suffolk Chamber

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