December is a month filled with catch-ups, presents and celebrations – and this was certainly true for Boris Johnson and the Conservative party after the UK’s 12th December General Election.
Boris retained his place at number 10 with a majority of 80 in the house of commons, the biggest majority seen since 1987. So, what does this mandate mean for the UK telecoms industry and how will the Boris Johnson era support the ever-increasing mobile demands of the UK population?
What’s been promised
The Conservative party manifesto set out the parties aims and promises for the next term with the stand-out features in terms of telecoms being the extra public investment of £5bn, to ensure that “every home and business” has access to a “full fibre and gigabit-capable broadband” service by the end of 2025. Along with the promise that greater mobile coverage across the country will be provided, which refers to the recent £1bn industry-led agreement on mobile coverage. The aim of which is to extend geographic 4G coverage to 95% of the UK population by the end of 2025.
Impact and expectations
At the moment, there is little clarity around the promise of full fibre and gigabit-capable broadband, in terms of the plan for roll out, timescales and whether the full fibre will reach every home. However, there is a little more certainty surrounding the promise of greater mobile coverage across the country. The industry is supporting the mobile plan, with the added incentive of Ofcom fines, should timescales not be met.
Ofcom, the UK government-approved regulatory competition authority for broadcasting, works with the industry to drive forward services for customers and operators alike. The authority body is able to hold the industry accountable when it comes to meeting telecoms infrastructure and service promises.
One of the main areas of focus is the connectivity of rural communities; ensuring that people and businesses in rural locations within the UK aren’t hampered by poor connectivity. In October 2019, the four UK mobile network operators agreed to work together to tackle poor rural connectivity and 4G coverage. Up to £1 billion will be invested into tackling so called ‘not-spots’ (rural areas with little to no coverage). The mobile networks have proposed spending £530m for a ‘Shared Rural Network’, which could lead to additional mobile coverage for 280,000 premises and 16,000km of roads.
This is something that communities, especially those in rural and remote locations, across the country will be keeping an eye on to ensure both the operators and the government stick to their agreement.
What to expect
The result of the General Election means that the UK is likely to leave the European Union as of the 31st January 2020. It is likely that Boris Johnson and the Conservative party will want the UK to lead the way and be a strong and successful nation following the split from the EU. Technological advancements and the 5G race are likely to provide this opportunity to lead should the UK, its operators and the industry be ready to move swiftly and efficiently to ensure we keep up with other nations in the drive for faster connectivity for all.
At Commhoist we support the telecoms industry by providing end-to-end telecoms logistics to ensure the growth of the network and the connectivity for the UK’s population. Find out more about team Commhoist and speak to the team today about your next infrastructure project.