TIGA, the network for video games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the video games industry, has responded to the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport regarding the proposed reforms to permitted development rights to support the deployment of 5G and extend mobile coverage.
The consultation, opened on 27 August 2019, seeks feedback from representative groups about the benefits of further reforms to support the network upgrades that will be required to deploy 5G and to extend network coverage. It also seeks views on the circumstances in which it would be appropriate to do so, and what further measures could be offered to mitigate the impact of any new electronic communications infrastructure.
TIGA has responded to the consultation with the following recommendations:
- TIGA agrees with the proposed reforms outlined by the Government to streamline the process of deploying and upgrading infrastructure.
- TIGA agrees with the measures proposed to mitigate negative visual impact on surrounding areas, primarily being to enable more Code Operators to utilise one site, and keeping the number of masts and installation sites to a minimum.
- TIGA agrees that permitted development rights should be amended to enable higher masts and the deployment of building–based masts nearer to highways, which will help operators deliver dependable and consistent coverage. TIGA also agrees with the principle of amending permitted development rights to allow an increase in the width of existing ground-based masts by more than one third, to support 5G deployment and encourage greater utilisation of existing sites. However, TIGA believes the Government should take steps to minimise the environmental impact of masts.
In response to the consultation, Dr Richard Wilson OBE, CEO of TIGA said:
“The demand for mobile data in the UK is increasing rapidly and as households and businesses become increasingly reliant on mobile connectivity, the infrastructure must be in place to ensure supply does not become a constraint on future demand.
“TIGA therefore believes eliminating mobile coverage ‘total not-spots’ and ‘partial not-spots’ should be a priority for Government. This will ensure that the economic and cultural value of mobile connection can be experienced by all, no matter where you are located within the UK.”