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5G: Rural Areas

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 259140, tabled on 3 June 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of opening up access to the 5G spectrum to new users on the speed of deployment of 5G to rural communities.

Answered on

11 June 2019

In the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review, the Government supports the introduction of flexible, shared spectrum models - such as dynamic spectrum access - and the release of additional public sector spectrum as strategic priorities. Government believes that spectrum sharing would enable new players, alongside existing mobile operators, to access and invest in new business models whilst enabling innovative solutions to connectivity challenges, such as in rural areas.

Today, we have the tools and technologies needed to allocate spectrum on a dynamic basis. Government will continue to work with Ofcom and industry to support innovation and investment and deliver improvements in coverage. We believe that the market expansion model will aid these objectives and encourage competition. The Government recently consulted on these ambitions in the Statement of Strategic Priorities. Ofcom, as the national regulatory authority, will have regard to these when carrying out the management of spectrum and other relevant functions.

Interests declared
The Member has declared that they have interests which may be relevant to the subject matter of this question.