Government launches review into incentives for network investment

Government launches review into incentives for network investment

The Government has published the Terms of Reference for a review into future investment into the UK telecoms sector, led by DCMS. The cross-government Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review will explore what makes investment in full fibre and 5G networks attractive, and what actions Government may need to take in order to deliver on its vision.

The review, which was announced in yesterday’s Industrial Strategy paper, will have three focus areas:

  • “the barriers to investment in digital infrastructure and next-generation digital connectivity, now and over the coming decades including cost, levels of demand, market structures and regulation;
  • how investment incentives vary between different areas of the UK and across different parts of the telecoms market;
  • what policy changes government should consider to encourage greater investment in new digital infrastructure. These may include encouraging greater competition, other measures that can increase the attractiveness of investment through changes in the relative risks and returns, or direct government intervention.”

The Review is more focused than previous strategies such as the Digital Communication Infrastructure Review or the Digital Strategy and is well aligned to existing BSG work, both on some of the key decisions that will need to be made to facilitate a converged, full fibre and 5G future and on the practical barriers that need to be lowered.

DCMS will be leading the review which will be issuing a call for evidence shortly, aiming to report back fully in Summer 2018. It will be interesting to see how this review aligns with ongoing work in bodies such as Ofcom and the National Infrastructure Commission and the BSG will be engaging closely as this project develops.