IoD ‘Government’s telecoms review doesn’t go far enough’

Responding to the Government’s Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review, Dan Lewis, Senior Advisor on Infrastructure at the Institute of Directors, said:

“The new telecoms infrastructure review makes some of the right noises but does not go far enough.

“At the projected rate of fibre optic rollout, we will take until 2025 to get where many of our competitors were a few years ago. Until there is a commitment to a nationwide copper switch-off date and much lower physical infrastructure charges paving the way for shared rather than duplicated telecom infrastructure, the UK will fall further behind in world rankings for both broadband and mobile upload and download speeds.

“Proposals for reform to wayleave arrangements are positive, as this is the biggest barrier to fibre optic rollout, and the new appreciation for an outside in approach is also welcome. But more needs to be done to substantially speed up the UK’s digital infrastructure development. We risk losing business that is dependent on good connectivity to competitors abroad.

“Given how far the UK lags its competitors on mobile and full fibre, business leaders will feel that the review has missed an opportunity.”