COMMONS

Culture Secretary questioned on mobile and broadband coverage

01 May 2018

The Scottish Affairs Committee concludes its inquiry into Digital Connectivity in with an evidence session with Matt Hancock MP, Minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

UK and Scottish Government coordination

The UK and Scottish Governments are both committed to delivering superfast broadband and improved mobile phone coverage, with the power to legislate for telecommunications reserved by the UK Government. Broadband Delivery UK, part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, is responsible for implementing the UK Government's policy on superfast broadband roll-out.

In its session with the Minister, the Committee will examine the coordination between the UK and Scottish Governments in setting targets and implementing broadband policy, how barriers to investment in remote, rural areas can be addressed, and the possibility of improving mobile coverage in Scotland via the Emergency Service Network programme.

Ofcom

Ofcom is the regulator for the UK communications industries, with responsibilities across television, radio, on demand, postal, telecommunications and wireless communications services. In this session, the Committee will focus on Ofcom's priorities for the broadband and mobile markets in Scotland, its commitment to improving the information it makes available to consumers, and the future use of spectrum

Witnesses

Tuesday 1 May, Committee Room 8, Palace of Westminster

From 10.45am

  • Steve Unger, Chief Technology Officer, Ofcom
  • Jonathan Ruff, Regulatory Affairs Manager, Ofcom Scotland 

From 12.00pm

  • Rt. Hon. Matt Hancock MP, Minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Chair's comments

"Throughout the course of our inquiry, the value of reliable, fast broadband and mobile coverage has been highlighted to this Committee. Scotland's business and individual consumers alike rely on the necessary infrastructure being in place, both now and in the future.

As we conclude our inquiry, we will hear from two key actors: the industry regulator, Ofcom, and the UK Government. Their views on the current state of play and the challenges that lie ahead will help form our eventual conclusions and recommendations.

The Committee will also explore the ongoing debate between both the UK and Scottish Governments about the progress of broadband rollout in Scotland."

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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