May 28, 2020
Mobile UK responds to DCMS Select Committee’s report into the impact of COVID-19
Mobile UK welcomes the DCMS Select Committee’s desire to look beyond COVID-19 to assess its impact on the industry and to consider what measures must be taken to support the UK’s economic recovery.
Digital connectivity, and more specifically, the UK’s digital networks have been at the core of keeping the economy going, keeping families connected, and supporting critical infrastructure such as the NHS. While the adverse impact on the mobile sector due to the pandemic was considerably less than on other sectors, it has been very far from ‘business as usual’. It has required rapid redeployment of resources to focus on issues arising from the outbreak.
The COVID-19 outbreak has reshaped society and the economy, as shown by increased levels of network usage and changed patterns of behaviour.This effect is unlikely to be fully reversed. As a result, digital infrastructure will become much more central to our national life. The digital economy will be the engine of growth to lead the revival of the broader UK economy. Policy must now reflect this and pivot towards digital infrastructure, with urgent reforms to planning regulation, fiscal measures to promote investment, and action to ensure reforms enabling operators to access land become effective.
These objectives must be pursued now so that mobile operators can continue to build and upgrade their networks, including the Shared Rural Network programme and 5G networks, to ensure the UK is fully ableto recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and the ‘new-normal’ ultra-connected world.
About Building Mobile Britain
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
Head of Policy and Communications
Tel: 07887 911 076