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Updated Local Authority Guidance Recognises Value of Connectivity to Communities

Mobile UK welcomes updated guidance published today that seeks to redress the balance between a Council’s duty to generate revenue with the provision of wider connectivity to the communities they represent.

Before today, Local Authorities had been mandated by government guidance to derive the greatest revenue possible from the assets they control with little or no appreciation of the wider benefits they could provide to the general community. This approach, while understandable, constrained councils from offering their wider estates, rooftops or sites suitable for mobile infrastructure, to mobile companies to install radio equipment that could provide an enhanced mobile signal or better coverage.

The updated guidance provides a better balance which not only generates income for councils but also takes into account the opportunity to bring to communities wider benefits such as enhanced connectivity, including upgrades to 4G networks and the installation of new next-generation 5G networks.

Hamish Macleod, Director at Mobile UK, said:

“The updated valuation guidance published by the MHCLG will give councils the confidence to bring wider community benefits, such as enhanced mobile coverage, to their communities. From an industry perspective, it means adding public assets, often located in ideal locations for radio signal broadcast, into the mix to assist in the rapid rollout of world-class mobile connectivity.”

Mobile UK is a founding member of Speed Up Britain: the campaign to accelerate the roll out of Britain’s mobile networks.

Ed Vaizey, the Chairman of Speed Up Britain campaign, said:

“Speed Up Britain welcomes this updated valuation guidance. It’s about time we enabled local authorities to consider societal benefit when thinking about the value they derive from the assets they control. This conversation is about more than just delivering revenue to councils. It’s about giving Britain the digital future it deserves. This change, along with the broader changes we’re seeking to the Electronic Communications Code, will help us achieve this aim for the benefit of all.”

Notes to Editors

  • Mobile UK
    is the trade association for the UK’s mobile network operators –  EE, O2, Three and Vodafone.
  • Speed Up Britain
    is a cross-industry, non-partisan organisation, campaigning for better mobile connectivity in every part of across the UK through targeted changes to the Electronic Communications Code 2017.
  • For media enquiries please contact Gareth Elliott, Head of Policy and Communications at Mobile UK, on 07887 911 076.