March 10, 2020

Budget 2020: Putting in place the foundations for world-class connectivity

Budget 2020 Mobile Requests

Mobile UK is once again calling on the Chancellor to consider how to best use the budget to create the right financial foundations to enable the rapid roll-out of mobile networks.

Mobile UK has therefore set out the following recommendations the Chancellor, The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP:

- Introduce Business Rates relief for new mobile infrastructure development, especially in harder to reach areas, providing parity with fixed fibre infrastructure. The Telecommunications Infrastructure Act 2018 allows for 100% business rates relief for operators who install new fibre on their networks. Expanding this to mobile would help make the installation of mobile infrastructure more economically viable, particularly in areas set to benefit from the Shared RuralNetwork.

- Continue to promote full-fibre deployment to facilitate mobile and 5G roll-out. Full fibre networks are essential to mobile deployment and must continue to be expedited.

- Ensure adequate funding to assist the planning and development functions of local authorities to aid mobile infrastructure development. Local authority budget cuts have led to alarming decreases in the capability and resources of planning and development departments across councils. To ensure the effective deployment of 4G and 5G, it is vital that they are adequately skilled and resourced if the UK is to meet its ambitions for world-class connectivity.

Commenting ahead of the Budget, Hamish MacLeod, Director at Mobile UK, said:

“Mobile networks are set to provide the foundations for the modern economy and getting the right financial framework is critical. Mobile networks must now be considered on an equal footing with fixed-line networks.

“Incentives provided to fibre, such as business rates relief, on new mobile infrastructure would go along way to assisting deployment, especially in areas the government has stated it wants to see a levelling-up.”

Mobile UK's full Budget submission can be read here.

About Building Mobile Britain

Building Mobile Britain logo

Building Mobile Britain is a campaign created by Mobile UK seeking to work with national and local government, as well as interested industry groups to overcome the challenges we face with expanding the existing mobile networks, while also developing innovative services for customers.

See here for further information - or #BuildingMobileBritain

Media Contacts

Gareth Elliott
Head of Policy and Communications
Tel: 07887 911 076

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