COMMONS

Committee launches inquiry into challenges facing full-fibre and 5G roll-out

05 March 2020

MPs launch an inquiry into Broadband and road to 5G to examine Government’s pledge to ensure every home and business in the UK has gigabit-capable broadband by 2025.

Scope of the inquiry

The inquiry will focus on how realistic the ambition is, what is needed to achieve it, and what the Government’s target will mean for businesses and consumers. It will also look at what role 5G technology might play, and what initiatives such as the Shared Rural Network mean for improving mobile connectivity across the UK.

Chair's comments

DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight MP said:

“The delivery of full-fibre broadband is critical to the success of the UK, particularly the need to ensure that our businesses of the future are equipped with a reliable, future-proofed network no matter where they are based.

“The Government has said it wants to achieve this nationwide roll-out by 2025. We’ll be carrying out a reality check to find out what steps must be taken now if this target is to be reached.”

Terms of Reference:

  • How realistic is the Government’s ambition of nationwide gigabit-capable broadband by 2025, and what measures (regulatory, financial, technical, other) will be needed to achieve it?  
     
  • What are the challenges to the roll-out of 5G and gigabit-capable networks? To what extent do existing legislative, regulatory and spending plans address them? 
     
  • What needs to happen to ensure the Government’s ‘outside in’ approach successfully addresses the digital divide while also delivering value for money?  
     
  • What does take-up of broadband and mobile services indicate about consumer and business attitudes to digital connectivity? What needs to be learnt from this for the roll-out of, and switchover to, gigabit-capable networks? 
     
  • What will be the impact on individuals and communities whose broadband and mobile connectivity fails to keep pace with the rest of the country over the next 10 years? What is the link with other DCMS policy concerns, such as changing patterns in the consumption of digital media? 
     
  • How effectively do the different stakeholders (UK and devolved governments, local authorities, Ofcom, industry) work together in both the mobile and broadband sectors? How might these relationships be improved to support gigabit-capable roll-out?

Submitting evidence

The Committee invites evidence from the public, organisations and others with relevant expertise, on the terms of reference. The deadline for submitting evidence is Thursday 2 April 2020 at 6pm.
Written evidence to the inquiry can be submitted via the evidence portal.

  • Each submission should:
  • be no more than 3,000 words in length
  • be in Word format with as little use of colour or logos as possible
    have numbered paragraphs

Further information

Image: Jorge Guillen from Pixabay

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