Press releases

Reducing costs of UK broadband infrastructure deployment at the core of Analysys Mason report for Government, local authorities and telecoms operators

A new report from telecoms specialist advisers Analysys Mason provides recommendations to overcome network deployment barriers such as street works and planning issues.

The report entitled  Lowering barriers to telecoms infrastructure deployment was officially launched today by the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG) at an industry event. 

This report provides a solid base to improve the ease and cost of digital communications infrastructure deployment in the UK," said Matthew Evans, Chief Executive of the BSG.

He added, "We will work with the Government, local authorities and telecoms operators to implement the recommendations in the report. We believe a cross-departmental unit within the Government should be set up to break down barriers to broadband network deployment."

Ahead of publishing the study, Analysys Mason consulted with telecoms operators and the highway and planning departments from a range of local authorities and found that practices for managing street works varied considerably and could be improved.

The study makes a number of key recommendations including for:

  • The UK Government to analyse the potential overuse of street works restriction notices and inconsistency of notice periods and fees for road traffic management, including advertising requirements.
  • The UK Government to review micro-trenching and similar techniques of network deployment to understand why there are inconsistencies in how highway authorities assess the suitability of such techniques and make decisions that prevent or delay their use, and to update guidance accordingly.
  • The UK Government and highway authorities to review current practices to assess fees, restriction conditions, road classifications, traffic-sensitive street designations, embargo periods, reinstatement obligations, and outsourcing arrangements.
  • Telecoms operators and highway authorities to improve street works planning such as by introducing site visits, and improving the quality of workmanship by subcontractors such as by increased monitoring and incentives for quality of delivery.
  • Telecoms operators and planning authorities to engage early in the deployment planning process and work closely to prepare plans for siting of equipment.
  • Telecoms operators to incorporate early engagement with all local authorities as a standard part of their deployment planning process to share information about their deployment plans.

"We made recommendations to address 19 specific issues that we identified are likely to have a negative impact on the deployment of telecommunications infrastructure, meaning that investment and hence coverage are likely to be lower than they could be; this could have significant implications affecting government policy for broadband and digital communications infrastructure," commented Ian Adkins, Principal at Analysys Mason.

This study follows other recent broadband projects that Analysys Mason has supported such as the Government's changes to the Electronic Communications Code and Ofcom's cost analysis for a broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO).

Analysys Mason advises governments, regulators, operators and investors on broadband issues worldwide.