Speed Up Britain Reacts to Queen’s Speech Commitment to Propose Code Reform
Speed Up Britain, the cross-industry, non-partisan organisation campaigning for better mobile connectivity in every part of the UK, welcomes the news in the Queen’s Speech that the UK Government will soon introduce proposals to reform the Electronic Communications Code (“the Code”) via the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill (“the Bill”).
The Code was introduced to regulate relationships between network operators and site providers who host the equipment needed for mobile networks. It has not had the desired results, instead encouraging disagreements and lengthy legal proceedings over rights designed to facilitate the installation and maintenance of electronic communications networks.
These disagreements are slowing down much-needed buildout of 4G and 5G technology across the country, slowing Britain’s recovery from the pandemic down and putting significant economic growth at risk.
Research from the Centre for Policy Studies tells us that if 5G coverage reaches a quarter more of the population than the Government’s current target of 51%, it will produce GDP gains of £41.7 billion by 2027.
In its response to the recent DCMS consultation on potential changes to the Code Speed Up Britain asked the Government to remove the financial incentives that make it pay to slow down progress; we’ve asked for the Code to be the only piece of legislation governing the agreements between landowners and operators; and we’ve asked the Government to ensure that operators can share and upgrade sites when they need to.
The Campaign is delighted the Government plans to move forward with Code reform and is optimistic about the potential this move has to transform connectivity in the UK, speeding up Britain and enabling the country to fulfil the promise of a truly connected future.
We look forward to the Government’s response to the consultation and to seeing the bill published later this year.