DMA welcomes government's Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review

Filter By

Show All

Connect to


DMA welcomes government's Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review


At the Royal Welsh Show in Builth Wells today, the new Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Wright QC MP, announced Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review (FTIR), which forms part of the UK Government’s modern Industrial Strategy.

The policy aims to assess and make plans to improve telecoms and internet connectivity across the country.

Importantly, the plan states that rural areas with bad connection will be a priority for improving broadband connectivity and implementing the new 5G network. Last week, Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) found that half of SMEs in rural areas (and one third in the whole of Scotland) are still suffering from lack of good internet connections. They also found that a large proportion in these areas choose to rely on the postal service rather than the internet for conducting business. The story is similar in many small cities, towns and rural areas across the country.

This is an issue that has been aired with increasing frustration for nearly a decade, yet national and devolved governments have failed to act to improve connectivity.

In announcing the plans, Sec. of State Jeremy Wright QC MP said:

“We want everyone in the UK to benefit from world-class connectivity no matter where they live, work or travel. This radical new blueprint for the future of telecommunications in this country will increase competition and investment in full fibre broadband, create more commercial opportunities and make it easier and cheaper to roll out infrastructure for 5G.

“The FTIR’s analysis indicates that, without change, full fibre broadband networks will at best only ever reach three quarters of the country, and it would take more than twenty years to do so. It also indicates that 5G offers the potential for an expansion of the telecoms market, with opportunities for existing players and new entrants.”

The DMA has consistently pushed for greater connectivity for all businesses in the UK. This is an important issue for an economy which values business in all areas of the UK. Furthermore, the DMA supports such policies which help counterbalance the focus from London and other large metropolitan areas across the country. In this regard, the FTIR is a vital step for creating the infrastructure through which businesses in small cities, towns and rural areas can compete with those in large metropolitan areas.

Key recommendations from the FTIR:

· New legislation that will guarantee full fibre connections to new build developments;

· Providing Operators with a ‘right to entry’ to flats, business parks, office blocks and other tenanted properties to allow those who rent to receive fast, reliable connectivity, from the right supplier at the best price;

· Reforms to the regulatory environment for full fibre broadband that will drive investment and competition and is tailored to different local market conditions;

· Public investment in full fibre for rural areas to begin simultaneously with commercial investment in urban locations;

· An industry-led switchover (from copper to full fibre) coordinated with Ofcom;

· A new nationwide framework which will reduce the costs, time and disruption caused by street-works by standardising the approach across the country;

· Increased access to spectrum for innovative 5G services;

· Infrastructure (including pipes and sewers) owned by other utilities such as power, gas and water, should be easy to access, and available for both fixed and mobile use;

· Ofcom to reform regulation, allowing unrestricted access to Openreach ducts and poles for both residential and business use, including essential mobile infrastructure;

· Alongside the FTIR, Government has also published a Digital Infrastructure Toolkit which will allow mobile networks to make far greater use of Government buildings to boost coverage across the UK.

Hear more from the DMA

Please login to comment.