Telecommunications Infrastructure (Relief from Non-Domestic Rates) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:07 pm on 10th July 2017.

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Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately Conservative, Faversham and Mid Kent 7:07 pm, 10th July 2017

I could see the frown on your face, Madam Deputy Speaker. It might seem like a stretch to go from talking about telecommunications to lorry fly-parking, but as 5G is an enabler of the internet of things and, potentially, of driverless cars and driverless lorries, it might mean that lorry drivers no longer have to take long breaks to sleep. The reason lorries are parked in the laybys of our roads is that the drivers are sleeping because they have to have a compulsory rest before they can keep driving, but we could have lorries without a driver, so the subjects genuinely connect.

To return to what I was planning to talk about, another important potential application of 5G is in healthcare, with wearable devices. For instance, people’s heart rate and blood pressure could be tracked. That is very much part of the future of healthcare and preventive healthcare to help us all to look after ourselves. As somebody who is very committed to the NHS and to making sure we have a sustainable NHS and a healthier population, I am keen that we enable such developments in healthcare.

Those are just a handful of examples of what we hope 5G will enable. We hope to be at the forefront of this technology by investing in it.