Revolution in Technology

Technology and how we use it is evolving rapidly, but is Norfolk’s digital infrastructure keeping pace? 

As more and more businesses rely on technology, Norfolk Chamber is keen to ensure that both our digital infrastructure and our business community are ready to take advantage of new technology developments as they evolve.

 

Norfolk Mobile Connectivity

The current situation

A recent British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) survey highlighted that 85% of Norfolk companies said they regularly experienced ‘not-spots’ in Norfolk.  Only 43% had access to 4G, with a further 32% being able to access 3G – more concerning was the 11% that still only have 2G – the ability to make calls only – no access to internet or data.

Roaming signals, similar to those available when you travel in Europe, would be a good solution to Norfolk’s intermittent mobile signal problem.  This was called for by a cross-party group of MPs, led by Grant Schapps, in October 2016.  Mr Schapps said "It is unacceptable that areas in Britain continue to have such poor mobile connectivity, and that overseas visitors can expect better mobile coverage than Britons stuck with a single provider.  The time for excuses from the mobile sector is over. The Government must make a better call for Britain and bring national mobile coverage policy into the 21st Century."

Facts:

  • 85% of business users reported they experienced ‘not-spots’ – BCC survey 2017
  • 43% of business users have access to 4G - BCC Survey 2017
  • 11% of business users have access to 2G (voice calls only – no data) – BCC Survey 2017
  • 33% of business users reported that their mobile internet connection was not reliable.
  • A cross-party group led by Grant Schapps MP in Oct 2016 called for roaming signals similar to that in Europe

What are we doing?

Norfolk Chamber will be a conduit of information for our members and will lobby and influence for improvements to mobile signal coverage.  We will work in partnership with BCC, New Anglia LEP and Greater Cambridge, Greater Peterborough LEP and TechEast influence and lobby on mobile issues affecting our members.

Norfolk Broadband

The current situation

A recent British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) survey highlighted that that majority of Norfolk companies said that a reliable broadband connection is important, yet one in five still suffer from unreliable connections. 

More reliable connections would allow businesses to do more. With better connections, businesses could make more effective use of applications such as cloud-based services, transfer of large files, and allow for remote server access for more flexible working arrangement for employees.

Broadband in Norfolk is improving, however there is still more work to be done to educate businesses of what they need to do to be able to access the available broadband speeds. 

Facts:

  • 10% of Norfolk have access to below 15Mbps and approx. 2% are still accessing below 2Mbps.
  • 87% of Norfolk has access to 24mbps. 
  • The UK government recently announced a further investment of £11m to extend the availability of high-speed broadband to more than 95% of Norfolk’s premises by spring 2020
  • Only 40% of businesses are accessing what is currently available to them
  • Alternative options available such as Fibre, Satellite connections and WiSpire

What are we doing?

Norfolk Chamber will be a conduit of information for our members and we will lobby and influence for swift delivery of broadband upgrades.  We will work in partnership with BCC, New Anglia LEP and Greater Cambridge, Greater Peterborough LEP and TechEast to highlightand lobby on digital issues affecting our members.

Embracing Technology in Norfolk

The current situation

Norfolk has a fast-growing digital tech economy.  With two leading universities and a steady supply of graduates our region has attracted and created digital tech businesses such as Rainbird AI, Validus-IVC and Epos Now.

2016 saw the launch of a number of events, including the DigitalCity trail and MyTech, which are aimed at inspiring young people.  Norwich University of the Arts launched its new incubation hub the Ideas Factory, and TechEast opened its embassy in London.  

The proposed Tech Corridor along the A11 linking Norwich and Cambridge could bring thousands of jobs and more than £500 million in investment.  There are established Enterprise Zones across Norfolk which will help nurture further growth.  The Quadram Institute is due to open in 2018 at the Norwich Research Park - the institute will be at the forefront of research into food and health.

Facts:

  • Norwich is a recognised Tech City
  • 7,589 Digital jobs in Norwich (Tech Nation Report 2017)
  • Average digital salary in Norwich £40,101 (Tech Nation Report 2017)
  • Digital GVA in Norwich  £165m (Tech Nation Report 2017)
  • Norwich’s potential tech sector growth is 81% (Tech Nation Report 2017)

What are we doing?

Norfolk Chamber will help member to identify opportunities within all sectors to use best practice and current technological solutions.  We will bring ‘traditional’ members and new tech businesses together to learn share and do business.

Norfolk Cyber Crime

Facts

  • 13% of Norfolk businesses feel that cyber-crime is restricted their business growth
  • 19% of Norfolk businesses have experienced a cyber-attack in the last 12 months
  • Only 21% of Norfolk businesses have cyber security accreditations in place, such as the Government backed Cyber Essentials
  • Government will invest £1.9billlion over the lifetime of their National Cyber Security Strategy 2016 – 2021 including  integrating cyber security into the education system, and meeting business needs

What are we doing?

Norfolk Chamber will help support our members to understand their cyber security risk levels and what ‘cyber hygiene’ steps they need to take to manage those risks and to access any funding that is available to them.

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