UK Spectrum Policy Forum Report

It was great to speak at the UK Spectrum Policy Forum on 18th October held under the Chatham House rule, alongside many colleagues as we took a forward look at the issue of rural spectrum demand. Our active participation underlines just how seriously 5G RuralDorset takes spectrum matters and the need for improvement in adequate and affordable access for rural areas.

Some key takeaways included:

  • DCMS has a new consultation on wireless infrastructure. The closing date for submissions is 25th November – detail here:
  • Rural areas need coverage and capacity, not just coverage. Spectrum has a role to play as part of the “toolkit” needed to fix the problem and changes to shared spectrum processes, including specifically its automation, were discussed.
  • There is little incentive for Neutral Hosting in the UK at this time though demand is there
  • We need to be looking at both Public and Private networks, and also not just 5G but Wi-Fi, satellite, and FWA.
  • Higher power levels would assist with mid-band spectrum take up and also 26GHz outdoor use would be sensible,which would  facilitate the use of robots on farms, and help to avoid downstream supply chain issues.

Further action is already planned, and change is expected so that the “digital aparthaid” between rural and urban areas is ended as soon as possible and the Government’s aim of a Gigabit connected Britain at the earliest possible opportunity is not frustrated.