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Speed up Britain gains additional industry support

Three of the UK’s wireless infrastructure providers – Britannia Towers, Ulstercom, and Atlas Tower Group – together with Digital Mobile Spectrum Limited (DMSL), a joint venture of the UK mobile network operators (MNOs), have joined Speed Up Britain as campaign supporters. Launched in July, Speed Up Britain is a campaign calling for the Government to reform the Electronic Communications Code (“the Code”), legislation that was intended to assist the rapid deployment of mobile infrastructure.

Britannia Towers and Ulstercom own and operate transmission sites for the wireless and broadcast industries in mainland United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. Through their networks of towers, they facilitate improvements in mobile coverage across the UK and the deployment of 5G infrastructure.

Atlas Tower Group is an independent wireless infrastructure provider that builds and operates sites throughout the UK. Atlas provide innovative solutions that enable efficient deployment of 4G and 5G technology for mobile operators across the country.

DMSL, a joint venture between EE, Telefónica (O2), Three and Vodafone, is responsible for the delivery of the Shared Rural Network (SRN). The SRN will extend good 4G coverage to 95 per cent of the country and is funded by both the MNOs and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport.

The expansion of Speed Up Britain’s network of industry supporters marks an important step for the campaign in its efforts to secure reform to the Electronic Communications Code. Since launching in July, the campaign has held two industry roundtables with the Minister for Digital Infrastructure Matt Warman MP, launched a report on the Code with the Centre for Policy Studies, and met with national and local leaders from across the UK.

The announcement also comes on the back of confirmation from the Minister for Digital Infrastructure that the Government plans to publish a consultation on the operation of the Code before Christmas.

Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt, Chair of Speed Up Britain, said:

“We are delighted to welcome Britannia Towers, Ulstercom, Atlas Tower Group and DMSL to Speed Up Britain. Together they bring a wealth of industry knowledge and experience to the campaign that will prove invaluable as we continue to press for urgent, necessary changes to the Code.”

Emmet Stokes, Director at Britannia Towers and Ulstercom, said:

“We are very proud to be joining our industry colleagues in Speed Up Britain. We feel it is imperative that the industry comes together to support the fundamental issue of Code reform in the greater interest of everyone who uses wireless technology at home or at work. 

We have come to the firm conclusion that in its present form, the Code is proving to be more of a barrier than a support in helping us maintain and grow our tower network to support mobile network operators, broadband providers and multiple other site users.”

Russell Jeffries, CEO at Atlas Tower Group, said:

“It is a privilege for Atlas to be joining Speed Up Britain alongside other leading industry players. This initiative is important in ensuring that the Code seamlessly supports efficient deployment of next generation communications technology across the UK.  

The Code should be an enabler of 5G roll-out rather than a barrier. If this can be achieved, the legislation can be a powerful tool that works in partnership with business to roll-out connectivity as quickly as possible, benefiting consumers throughout the country.”

Ben Roome, CEO at Digital Mobile Spectrum Limited (DMSL), said:

“Effective implementation of the Code is critical to delivering the benefits of mobile connectivity to some of the most rural places around the UK. It is only by all parties working together the Shared Rural Network can deliver it’s objective of transforming mobile coverage countrywide, enabling rural business to prosper and rural communities to thrive.”