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The Scottish city has outlined achievements to date as well as next steps and priorities, including the renewed focus of digital investment to support recovery from the pandemic.
Glasgow has released a review of its digital strategy outlining achievements to date as well as next steps and priorities, including the renewed focus of digital investment to support economic and social recovery, post-pandemic.
Since its launch in November 2018, of the 73 actions to deliver in the five-year plan, the city council reports 12 of these are complete; 43 are in development; seven are being planned; and 11 are yet to begin.
The comprehensive digital strategy was developed with public, private, academic and voluntary sector partners across the city.
The review also reflected on the fundamental impacts – and the future challenges it presents – that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the use of digital technology in society, the economy, and public services.
With specific regard to the actions taken by the council in response to the pandemic, this included the “rapid scaling up of infrastructure” to support homeworking; a rapid adoption of Microsoft Teams to enable staff; the 3D printing of face visors for care staff; and the deployment of a customer relationship management (CRM) system to support the shielding operation.
Meanwhile, the council’s own digital infrastructure has undergone a major upgrade, including the migration to a new secure and resilient data centre, and the installation of 250km of optical fibre providing gigabit connectivity to 650 council and school buildings.
In addition, Glasgow claims to be one of the first cities outside of the US to join the MetroLab Network which fosters city-university collaboration to drive smart city innovation.
“The next three years of the strategy will see further progress as we work to tackle the digital divide, promote greater connectivity and support improved and more accessible public services”
The Glasgow Telecoms Unit has also been developed to attract investment in Glasgow’s digital infrastructure and the city’s intelligent streetlights network has been scaled up to a total of 3,500 intelligent streetlights across the whole of the city centre.
In Glasgow’s schools, there has been a major upgrade of connectivity to all primary and secondary schools telecommunications infrastructure, with some 25,000 iPads delivered to Glasgow school children through the Connected Learning programme, with plans for the delivery of the remaining 25,000 being accelerated in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
More than 3,600 wi-fi hotspots have been installed in schools, and Apple TV has been fitted in classrooms, allowing teachers and pupils to project wirelessly to digital screens.
Looking forward, some of the next steps and priorities for the digital strategy include: improving digital skills and tackling digital exclusion; supporting and developing the city’s tech cluster, and renewing a focus on open data, data analytics and open innovation.
“We have made great progress in delivering on our Digital Glasgow Strategy, with action and investment utilising digital technology to improve lives and services and provide opportunities for people and businesses,” said councillor Angus Millar, chair of the Digital Glasgow Board.
“The next three years of the strategy will see further progress as we work to tackle the digital divide, promote greater connectivity and support improved and more accessible public services.”
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