Telecommunications: Infrastructure

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 28th June 2021.

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Photo of Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many site owners who lease their land to telecommunications companies for infrastructure have had their rents reduced by more than 40 per cent as proposed by the Government's Impact Assessment accompanying the 2017 Electronic Communications Code.

Photo of Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the proportion of savings made in rent reductions as a result of the 2017 changes to the Electronic Communications Code that have been reinvested into telecommunications infrastructure in rural areas.

Photo of Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of rent reductions resulting from the 2017 changes to the Electronic Communications Code.

Photo of Matt Warman Matt Warman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The Impact Assessment that accompanied the 2017 reforms did not propose a 40% reduction in rents. The 40% figure estimate referred to in the Impact Assessment was drawn from a report by independent economic analysts (Nordicity). The Impact Assessment made clear the difficulty of predicting the exact amount by which rents would fall, given the fact that the price paid for rights to install digital infrastructure is, in the first instance, a matter for private negotiation between operators and site providers.

Government’s aim was to reduce the cost of deployment, including the amounts paid for access to land, overall. We have not completed a formal assessment on average rent reductions since the 2017 reforms came into effect and therefore cannot comment on what the average rent reductions have been.

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