BSG Responds to the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review ConsultationSarah Shepherd
The DCMS call for evidence for the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review signalled the opening of the conversation around what – if any – policy interventions could benefit long-term investment in the infrastructure required for the next generation of digital technologies.
The BSG response, available here , highlighted that whilst the existing framework had enabled the UK’s high worldwide ranking in superfast connectivity, it would not be capable of delivering fibre roll out on the same scale. Challenges that will hinder the deployment of the next generation of technologies (essentially full fibre and 5G) range from the practical – as evidenced in the BSG Report Tackling Barriers to Telecoms Infrastructure Deployment – to the uncertainty surrounding the UK leaving the EU to ongoing issues over efficient access to infrastructure. The submission underlines the need for pro-competitive conditions to be in place so as to support the commercial case for roll out.
DCMS is looking internationally to see how, if at all, international successes in fibre deployment could potentially be replicated in the UK and what lessons could be learnt from abroad.
The call for evidence also sought views on the migration from copper to full fibre networks and implications thereof. Whilst fibre presents opportunities for opex savings, essentially these will only be fully realised if copper networks are either removed or ‘switched off’, although this of course has far reaching consequences.
In the meantime, Government intends to produce a report, to be published summer 2018, which will identify options and next steps for industry and Government alike.