To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of extending the mobile solution to the DCC hub communication problem in the southern UK region to the northern mobile region; and, what assessment he has made of the effect on the future-proofing of the smart meters toll-out programme of a network reliance on 2G technology.
Separate networks are in place for the Central and South Regions and the North. There are no plans to change these arrangements.
The Data and Communications Company (DCC) has contracted with Telefonica to reach at least 99.25% of properties, and Telefonica’s initial batch of communications hubs for the first 15% of the service will use dual 2G/3G chips providing flexibility and future proofing.
The DCC’s system has both commercial and technical protections to ensure future proofing, and energy suppliers have a responsibility (and interest) to ensure they can continue to use their smart meter for its asset lifetime, which they have taken into consideration as part of their asset procurement.