About the inquiry
A new inquiry has been launched by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Broadband and Digital Communication, chaired by Selaine Saxby MP, into how reforms to the Electronic Communications Code could help boost the deployment of full-fibre broadband in rural and urban areas across the UK.
The inquiry will seek to understand how the Electronic Communications Code (the ‘Code’) could be practically reformed by Government, to help the UK’s broadband builders meet the target of 85% gigabit-capable coverage by 2025.
Specifically, the inquiry will aim to:
- Educate how the Code currently operates and its impact on network deployment with regard to access to land, particularly on the fixed network which is often underplayed in discussions on the Code compared to mobile networks.
- Highlight the benefits that could be delivered if reforms to the Code can be made.
- Highlight that without reform to the Code, millions of constituents both in multi-dwelling units – including social housing – as well as those in rural areas could be left behind and lose out on the social and economic benefits full fibre broadband can deliver.
The APPG for Broadband and Digital Communication is seeking written evidence submissions from interested parties, including telecoms operators and site owners, and will convene oral evidence sessions in September 2021.
Have your say
The terms of reference and evidence questions can be accessed below. Please note, we are no longer accepting written evidence as part of this inquiry.
About the Electronic Communications Code
The electronic communications code (the Code) is set out in Schedule 3A of the Communications Act 2003. It is a set of rights that are designed to facilitate the installation and maintenance of electronic communications networks.
The Code confers rights on providers of such networks and on providers of systems of infrastructure to install and maintain apparatus on, under and over land and results in considerably simplified planning procedures.
The Code only has effect in the case of a person to whom it is applied by a direction given by Ofcom (or, in the case of the Secretary of State or any Northern Ireland department, where the Secretary of State or that department is providing or proposing to provide an electronic communications network). More information can be found on Ofcom’s website.
The APPG for Broadband and Digital Communication seeks to further the rollout of broadband in rural and urban areas, and to look at digital communication across the UK. The APPG is chaired by Selaine Saxby, MP for North Devon and secretariat is provided by techUK - #APPGDigiComms