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UK MPs examine Covid-19 fibre/5G roll-out impact

April 23, 2020

By Colin Mann

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee of the UK’s lower legislative chamber the House of Commons  has widened the scope of its inquiry into Broadband and the road to 5G, inviting evidence submissions on the impact of Coronavirus on the roll-out of full-fibre and 5G infrastructure, including any differences being experienced in different parts of the UK.

The deadline for submitting evidence has also been extended to Friday June 19th 2020 (with a possibility for further extension).

Inquiry Terms of Reference:

  • NEW: What is the impact of Covid-19 on the roll-out of full-fibre and 5G infrastructure in both the short and medium-to-long term, including any differences in different parts of the UK.
  • How realistic is the Government’s ambition of nationwide gigabit-capable broadband by 2025, and what measures (regulatory, financial, technical, other) will be needed to achieve it?
  • What are the challenges to the roll-out of 5G and gigabit-capable networks? To what extent do existing legislative, regulatory and spending plans address them?
  • What needs to happen to ensure the Government’s ‘outside in’ approach successfully addresses the digital divide while also delivering value for money?
  • What does take-up of broadband and mobile services indicate about consumer and business attitudes to digital connectivity? What needs to be learnt from this for the roll-out of, and switchover to, gigabit-capable networks?
  • What will be the impact on individuals and communities whose broadband and mobile connectivity fails to keep pace with the rest of the country over the next 10 years? What is the link with other DCMS policy concerns, such as changing patterns in the consumption of digital media?
  • How effectively do the different stakeholders (UK and devolved governments, local authorities, Ofcom, industry) work together in both the mobile and broadband sectors? How might these relationships be improved to support gigabit-capable roll-out?

Submission periods:

The Committee invites evidence from the public, organisations and others with relevant expertise, on the terms of reference. The deadline for submitting evidence has been extended to Friday June 19th 2020 (with a possibility for further extension).

Multiple submissions:

Organisations that have already submitted evidence are invited to make short supplementary submissions addressing the additional terms of reference rather than changing existing submissions. Any organisation is welcome to make more than one submission to the inquiry, as further information becomes available.

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