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Market-Making & Market Infrastructuring: for and through 5G connectivity

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


The presentation introduces the MANY project - Mobile Access North Yorkshire - a £6m DCMS investment in support rural digital connectivity and equality.

Our starting point for this project was the widely made observation that the digital divide. While digitalisation has done much to enable and accelerate economic activities in cities, the lack of investments in digitalisation in rural areas with small populations has created a digital divide, taking people away from their homes in the country – with many young and skilled individuals leaving to access the city's rich and diverse labour markets. This project set out to understand not only the market for 5G in situ, in a very rural economy, but to understand how 5G digitalisation could also infrastructure access to many other markets that could be engaged with.

This purview recognises that all markets have infrastructures. They are social, material, technical and economic. If we understand how these different elements can drive market exchange and market activity in a 5G context, we stand a chance of building connectivity networks that drive economic flourishing in a particular place – in north Yorkshire

Thus, our project looks at 5G markets in two ways:
1. How can the commercial case for rural connectivity be made - we argue that it is being made because of 5G
2. How socio-economic flourishing in place can be generated by having connected communities and the socio-economic opportunities that such digital market infrastructures can open up; creating good lives in rural communities.

We framed MANY as a Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) project. The MANY project see’s community engagement and working with communities as an important part of understanding the benefits that can be achieved in providing 5G into rural communities. By listening to communities, and understanding from them what differences 5G digital connectivity can bring to their lives, only then we will the true benefit of 5G in rural communities be realised. Although we have identified a number of use cases we think will benefit rural communities, we believe that more use cases and benefits will come from the communities themselves.

Our project has revealed how projects can best support communities through digital realisation journeys. Many of these communities have been forgotten in the digitization of everyday life. Communities have elderly residence who may feel left behind with the digital revolution. Some felt frightened or threatened by it, so without providing the necessary support to people, technology provided may not be used. By providing support to people we expect to see them gaining confidence in the use of the technology and getting maximum benefit.

Event (Conference)

Title5G World<br/>
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Degree of recognitionNational event