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Telecommunications: Infrastructure

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 20404, tabled on 22 June 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the proportion of savings made in rent reductions as a result of the 2017 changes to the Electronic Communications Code that have been reinvested into telecommunications infrastructure in rural areas.

Answered on

28 June 2021

The Impact Assessment that accompanied the 2017 reforms did not propose a 40% reduction in rents. The 40% figure estimate referred to in the Impact Assessment was drawn from a report by independent economic analysts (Nordicity). The Impact Assessment made clear the difficulty of predicting the exact amount by which rents would fall, given the fact that the price paid for rights to install digital infrastructure is, in the first instance, a matter for private negotiation between operators and site providers.

Government’s aim was to reduce the cost of deployment, including the amounts paid for access to land, overall. We have not completed a formal assessment on average rent reductions since the 2017 reforms came into effect and therefore cannot comment on what the average rent reductions have been.