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News & opinion

8 AUG 2018

RICS welcomes telecommunication industry joint statement

RICS, along with the CLA, Mobile UK and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have issued a joint statement on ongoing discussions linked to the new Electronics Communications Code and have agreed to work together to improve mobile phone coverage across the country.

RICS members play a crucial role in enabling the development of the UK’s telecommunications network and will be central to achieving the future strategy for the UK as outlined in the recent Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review (FTIR) report.

Statement

 “The reformed Electronic Communications Code (ECC) came into force in December 2017 with the aim of boosting coverage and connectivity across the UK, through a package of measures which Government expects to deliver significant cost reductions to the sector while ensuring landowners receive a fair payment for allowing their land to be used.

“Since the new legislation was introduced, there have been problems with negotiations progressing. While some initial uncertainty is to be expected, Government, regulators, the telecoms sector, independent infrastructure providers and the landowner community, recognise the importance of all parties working collaboratively together, both during this transition period and moving forwards.

“We are therefore coming together to reaffirm the commitments made to each other in Ofcom's Code of Practice, and to reiterate our support for the Government's ambition to be a leading global economy underpinned by world-class full fibre network and 5G infrastructure. It is essential that parties engage professionally in open and constructive communications. The future needs of customers and the economy are too important for it to be otherwise.”

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RICS recognises the critical role that a modern, efficient and equitable digital infrastructure has on the future development of the UK economy as outlined in the recent Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review (FTIR). RICS is working closely with our colleagues in DCMS, Mobile UK and the CLA to ensure that professional interpretation of the new Code enables investment in our national digital infrastructure whilst balancing the needs of the public and private property owners.

With high speed internet seen by many as the fourth utility service the public and businesses expect access to digital services when they want and as they want, these expectations are only set to increase as we see the coming national roll out of '5G' mobile technology. RICS believes that the reformed ECC is a great step forward towards this goal and that it is critical that professionals work together to enable this important element of the UK’s national economic infrastructure.

Mark Talbot FRICS
Chair of the Royal Institute of Chartered (RICS) Surveyors Telecoms Forum

RICS Telecoms forum is a cross industry leaders forum, and wider virtual community, that involves professionals from all aspects of the UK telecommunications industry. RICS Telecoms is working on a new best practice guidance note – Surveyors Advising on the Valuation of Rights in Accordance with the Electronic Communications Code 2017 and the ECC will form a major part of the forthcoming annual RICS Telecoms Forum conference on 13 November.

It's great to see MobileUK, the CLA and RICS committing to the Electronic Communications Code and backing our ambitions to improve connectivity and ensure Britain is fit for the future. From improving our existing networks to using the next generation of technology, collaboration is vital when it comes to building our digital infrastructure.

Margot James MP
Minister for Digital