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Lowering barriers to telecoms infrastructure deployment

Matt Yardley Partner, Consulting
Ian Adkins Principal, Consulting
Robert Woolfson Consultant, Consulting

 

Lowering barriers to telecoms infrastructure deploymentAnalysys Mason was commissioned by the Broadband Stakeholder Group to undertake a study into the practical barriers to deployment of telecoms infrastructure across the UK.

The report examines local authorities' as well as operators' practices that hinder or delay the roll-out of broadband infrastructure. The report focuses on four key areas affecting planning processes: noticing and permit schemes, Section 58 notices, road traffic management and planning permissions.

The study makes recommendations to address 19 specific issues that 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. Key recommendations include 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.

The report predominantly highlights issues that could be dealt with by changes in how local authorities and telecoms operators interact, it also presents practical solutions and examples of good practice which could be adopted by all stakeholders involved in this intricate process.

To view the full report, click on the link on the download box on the right.