G7 leaders to get £400k internet connection

Vodafone selected to deliver connectivity for major events

Leaders assembled for a photo at the 44th G7 summit in 2018    Credit: Government of Japan/CC BY 4.0

The government has spent £875,000 to ensure there is sufficient internet connectivity for two major global events scheduled to take place in the UK this year: the G7 Summit and the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference.

Procurement information reveals that the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office recently awarded mobile operator Vodafone a one-year deal worth £874,117. The contract covers the provision of internet connectivity for the two events.

The first of these is the G7 summit, which is scheduled to take place in Cornwall from 11-13 June. The event will gather the elected leaders of the seven member countries – the UK, US, Italy, France, Germany, Canada, and Japan – as well as EU figureheads Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel. Also joining the 2021 conference will be representatives from four guest nations: Australia; India; South Korea; and South Africa.As well as political leaders, the event will also – subject to restrictions – be attended by government officials from the participating states and media from around the world. 

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Everyone in attendance will benefit from being connected to a network on which the government has spent £414,000. 

Later in the year, as many as 30,000 delegates from governments and civil-society entities around the world will attend the COP26 summit, which takes place from 1 to 12 November at at Glasgow’s SEC Centre. The venue will be kitted out with Vodafone connectivity services worth £445,000.

The contract signed with the mobile firm also provides for £15,000 of spending on constructing the network.

The government will pay 90% of the value of the deal for each of the two conferences “upon successful completion of the implementation plan and testing for that event”. Vodafone will be paid the remaining 10% once the event has concluded.


Sam Trendall

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