New Clause 1 - Power for operator to upgrade or share apparatus

Part of Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 9:25 am ar 22 Mawrth 2022.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Chris Elmore Chris Elmore Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) 9:25, 22 Mawrth 2022

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

Good morning to you, Ms Nokes, and to all members of the Committee.

The new clause is self-explanatory, but I will speak to it in the hope of persuading colleagues of its considerable merits. It would require operators with agreements under the code that are not subsisting agreements—agreements that came into force before the code was agreed—to provide written notice to site providers that are an emergency service before the beginning of the period of 21 days, ending on the day that the operator begins upgrading the apparatus.

This uncontroversial new clause would simply mandate operators to give advance notice to sites that provide and deliver emergency services, such as hospitals, for example. Due to the sensitive and life-saving nature of the work that is carried out daily in those buildings, it would make sense for providers of emergency services to be given advance notice of when work is going to be undertaken, in the hope that work will then be able to go ahead as smoothly as possible. The new clause would reduce the delay and interference for both the site owner and the operator.

Under this Government, broadband roll-out targets have been reduced time and again—from full fibre to full gigabit, and now down to 85% gigabit. The new clause would speed up the roll-out of telecommunications infrastructure, which the country needs. We hope that this constructive new clause will have cross-party support, and I urge Members on both sides of the Committee, including the Minister, to support it.