Digital connectivity is becoming ever more important for people both professionally and personally. While the rate of change shows no sign of slowing, the digital infrastructure available can take time to catch up with business needs, affecting productivity.
Working in tandem, we believe there are a number of steps the government and mobile operators could take to help overcome some of the main practical barriers to mobile connectivity:
- Improve the planning process: The government should require planning authorities to proactively engage in consultation and place more weight on the benefits to UK PLC, in line with government policy. It should also speed up the planning process and make it more consistent across Local Planning Authorities. This approach may require some tweaking of current planning law.
- Business rates relief: By providing business rates relief to mobile operators, the government and local authorities would help free up money which could then be invested by the operators, benefitting both the users and the UK as a whole.
- Improve mast and infrastructure design: The materials and designs used in infrastructure continue to develop. Those in other parts of the world are embracing new approaches and they can provide inspiration for those in the UK to be more flexible within often very rigid technical guidelines.
- Leverage relationships: Draw on existing relationships with property owners and infrastructure providers to reach mutually beneficial outcomes.
While there are many moving parts when rolling out telecommunications infrastructure, creating innovative designs and taking a proactive, relationship building approach can help expedite the process for all concerned.
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