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Electronic Communications Code (Conditions and Restrictions) (Amendment) Regulations 2013

House of Lords written question – answered on 10th July 2013.

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Photo of Baroness Whitaker Baroness Whitaker Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the environmental cost of implementing the Electronic Communications Code (Conditions and Restrictions) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/1403), including their impact on amenity and tourism.

Photo of Lord Gardiner of Kimble Lord Gardiner of Kimble Lords Spokesperson (Department for Culture, Media and Sport), Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

As reflected in the impact assessment, the Government estimated that the installation of more overhead lines could affect the visual amenity of people living close by or visitors to the affected area.

The extent of this effect will depend on the extra use that is made of the measure by operators. Based on the data that operators have made available, we have estimated that over 5 years there could be a 10% increase in overhead lines; an increase of 325 km per annum.

The impact assessment made clear that an economic estimate of any adverse effects on tourism had not been made. Some respondents to the public consultation expressed concern about the potential loss of tourism revenue. However, this possibility should be offset against the likely direct benefits to tourism. VisitEngland, for example, supported the proposal, highlighting the economic importance of access to broadband in developing and sustaining tourism-related businesses, particularly in remote areas.

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