Mark Adair

£7m government investment into narrowing the digital divide in Liverpool

Liverpool is demonstrating its commitment to affordable connectivity and public sector technologies, by demonstrating the difference free 5G technology makes to the provision of digital public sector services.  

Senior government officials are today visiting two sites where affordable 5G is making a real difference to people in the community. Phoenix Primary School in Kensington, receives a free 5G connection thanks to Liverpool 5G’s public sector network.

The connectivity helps children with online learning at home and supports an anti-anxiety game accessed on Chromebooks provided by Liverpool City Council. The Chill Panda game was created by Liverpool games developers, CGA Studio Games, and co-designed by child psychologist, Dr Caroline Belcher.  

Meanwhile, residents at Rowan Garth Care Home are using Vitalerter, an under-the-bed sensor that prevents falls and pressure sores by alerting care staff to changes in a residents’ sleep patterns and movements. Hug Vest is also being trialed at Rowan Garth and uses a 5G-supported app to give residents a ‘haptic hug’ from a friend or relative.     Kensington Community Learning Centre will host two more technologies for the minister. Docobo is being used by Merseycare to remotely monitor patients with oedema (water retention and swelling), whilst MySense uses artificial intelligence (AI) to assess nutrition, hydration and activity for patients in the community, alongside a smartwatch to monitors heart rate.  

Liverpool 5G Creates project director, Rosemary Kay, “on the day, the minister will learn how we’re able to offer the 5G connection free to volunteers in Kensington thanks to a ground breaking partnership with Liverpool City Council.

She added, “this ambitious partnership builds on Liverpool’s existing assets, proving cities can find sustainable solutions to digital deprivation, whilst offering public sector technologies to everyone, regardless of their ability to afford a reliable connection.”  

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult and Children’s Social Care Councillor Frazer Lake adds, “We know that there is a digital divide in the city, and this was really brought home to us during the pandemic.

“It is now getting harder and harder to complete daily tasks if you are excluded from or not confident with technology but technology can also bring incredible benefits which help people to live happier and more independent lives.”     Liverpool 5G Create is a £7.2m DCMS-funded project, part of the (5G Testbeds and Trials Programme.) Committed to reducing the digital divide and delivering life-changing public-sector technologies, the project has built one of the largest 5G private public sector networks in Europe.  

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