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Mobile UK Responds To House Of Lords Rural Economy Committee Calling For Further Planning Reform And Access To Public Assets

Mobile UK submitted its response to the House of Lord’s Rural Economy committee calling for more ambitious planning reforms and access to public assets. In addition, new initiatives and partnerships with rural authorities should be explored, such as whether there is public benefit in direct intervention to support mobile development.

Summary of Mobile UK’s Response:

  • National Governments should reform planning regulations to extend the Permitted Development regime for communications apparatus, to ease network deployment
  • Central government should commit to a date for a formal review of the recently reformed Electronic Communications Code (ECC)
  • All Local Authorities should make specific reference to mobile connectivity in strategic plans and Local Plans
  • All public bodies, such as Local Authorities, should confirm that they will make available their assets available for mobile apparatus
  • Local Enterprise Partnerships with land in the hardest to reach areas should evaluate whether there is public benefit in direct intervention to support mobile deployment
  • The Governments, central and national should give business rates holidays for all new communications equipment (not just fixed

Hamish MacLeod, Director at Mobile UK, said:

“The mobile industry has made huge strides in improving mobile connectivity in recent years, and is currently investing £2 billion annually, to improve capacity, footprint and performance; however, to truly enhance connectivity in rural areas bold reforms to the planning system, the opening up of public assets and a closer look at business rates reduction for new equipment must all be considered.”

Notes to Editors

  1. Mobile UK is the trade association for the UK’s mobile network operators -  EE, O2, Three and Vodafone.
  2. The full response to the House of Lords Rural Economy Call for Evidence can be read here.

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