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DCMS launches consultation on land and digital infrastructure

28/01/21

Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has launched a consultation on whether to make changes to the law around land and digital infrastructure.

Mobile phone mast

It covers the legal framework for building and maintaining the structure on private and public land, influencing the placing of phone masts and broadband cabinets, and is aimed at providing more homes with improved internet and mobile coverage.

The consultation is exploring whether changes to the UK’s Electronic Communications Code, last reformed in 2017, are needed to encourage faster and more collaborative negotiations between landowners and telecoms providers. It is also looking at the possibilities for improving existing infrastructure.

Among the points to be considered are a review of automatic rights which can be used when a phone mast has to be upgraded from 4G to 5G or shared among operators to remove coverage blackspots; and whether more certainty is needed about what will happen when agreements between operators and landowners come to an end and how they can be reviewed.

Better connectivity

Minister for Digital Infrastructure Matt Warman said: “As part of our vision to level up the UK with better connectivity and faster broadband speeds, we’re looking at reforming the law so people can get the benefits of better connectivity as soon as possible.

“We’re also investing £5.5 billion to roll out nationwide gigabit broadband and improve poor mobile coverage.”

The consultation is open until 24 March.

Image by Calum Young, CC2.0 through Wikimedia

 

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