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Telecommunications: Infrastructure

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 52574, tabled on 21 September 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of whether the rollout of full fibre infrastructure is (a) faster, (b) less disruptive and (c) cheaper when using existing duct and pole infrastructure.

Answered on

18 October 2021

The government believes that reusing existing infrastructure, including but not limited to existing ducts and poles, can significantly reduce the time, cost and environmental impact of rolling out new broadband networks. Civil works, in particular installing new ducts and poles (or passive infrastructure), comprise the majority of costs of deploying gigabit broadband networks. In its Wholesale Fixed Telecoms Market Review 2021, Ofcom estimated that the reuse of Openreach’s duct and pole network cut the costs of deployment by around half.

Since 2019, Ofcom has mandated open access to Openreach’s ducts and poles, making it easier and quicker to deploy digital infrastructure networks. Furthermore, the government has consulted on making changes to the Access to Infrastructure regulations which support deployment using non-telecoms infrastructure.

Named day
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