Gauging digital readiness for Isle of Wight Council

We created the Digital Solent event to test community appetite for change

We’re helping the Isle of Wight transform itself into a Smart Society.

The Isle of Wight is a fascinating place with a strong sense of community and a real heritage in the telecommunications industry stretching back to Marconi in the late 1890’s.

Today the Island has some of the most deprived areas in the country, with one of the oldest populations and below average educational attainment amongst its young, yet is still seen as a great place to grow up, for holidays and as a destination for digital companies seeking a great balance of work, lifestyle and affordability.

The Council has a real desire for the Island to grow its digital economy, and to incorporate digital thinking into it’s broader regeneration strategy. This is underpinned by its vision to be a ‘Gigabit Island’ [https://onthewight.com/about/gigabit-island/] with everything and everyone connected to ultra-high speed networks, bringing new services and opportunities for the benefit of all its citizens.

Perform Green have been asked to gauge the Island’s digital readiness and develop the digital strands of its regeneration programme in close collaboration with the community. We started our engagement by helping to shape the Digital Solent Conference, held in Cowes in November ‘2017, in which over 150 people engaged in innovation sessions that identified creative proposals and collaborations across a broad range of the Island’s challenges.

The outputs from the event, plus a series of interviews with key stakeholders, were woven into a Digital Readiness report submitted in December, and Perform Green have also worked with the council and local business to seek additional investment from central government to help realise that vision (DCMS 5G testbed and Local Full Fibre Networks).

We are now engaged in developing the first iteration of the digital regeneration strategy proper.

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