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Connectivity News Round-Up for November 2023


Connectivity News Round-Up for November 2023

Presenting our Connectivity News Round-Up for November 2023, thoughtfully curated by FarrPoint consultants.

Welcome to our monthly connectivity news roundup!

Explore with us as we delve into the highlights over the last month, giving you an overview of the latest stories, trends, and innovations in the telecoms industry.


01. Ofcom's Prediction: 91% Full Fibre Coverage Across UK Premises by May 2026

(this will open in a new window)Ofcom published its second forward-looking supplement to its Connected Nations report, focusing on upcoming network deployments over the next three years. This predicts 91% full fibre coverage of UK premises by May 2026, based on operators' deployment plans as of May 2023. The analysis shows that there will still be a significant difference in coverage between urban and rural areas however, with gigabit-capable coverage expected to reach 98% of urban properties compared to only 75% or rural properties within this timeframe.

Ofcom supplement to its Connected Nations report

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02. UK Government Pledges £36 Million in 5G Funding

(this will open in a new window)The UK government is injecting £36 million into 10 regions to accelerate 5G-enabled innovation, spanning urban and rural areas from Glasgow to the West Midlands, Belfast to West Sussex. These funds have been allocated to 5G Innovation Regions (5GIRs) for local projects to enhance advanced wireless connectivity in sectors such as public services, sustainable farming, and road safety. Simultaneously, a Digital Infrastructure Advisory Group has been established to guide these regions in adopting 5G and other advanced wireless technologies, fostering overall technological progress and connectivity solutions.

UK Government Pledges £36 Million in 5G Funding

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03. Edinburgh Napier Researchers Develop Smart City “Playbook”

(this will open in a new window)Edinburgh Napier University researchers, in collaboration with the United Nations, have created a playbook entitled "Managing Smart City Governance." This resource offers evidence-based advice for global cities on leveraging digital technologies, and addressing ethical and environmental considerations in smart city projects. It incorporates examples from Scotland, including the Scottish Cities Alliance, with Edinburgh's Smart City Operations Centre as a real-time data-driven illustration. The playbook aims to provide strategic guidance for improving urban life globally. FarrPoint previously worked with the Napier team in our smart places blog so great to see this work progressing and reaching a global audience.

Edinburgh Napier Smart City Playbook

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04. Ofcom Considering Expanding Shared Spectrum Usage for Enhanced Connectivity

(this will open in a new window)Ofcom is currently seeking input on its plan to increase the use of shared spectrum, with the consultation period running to February 2, 2024. The proposal aims to enhance the supply of spectrum, especially in the 3.8-4.2 GHz band, by relaxing coordination assumptions, involving more user input, and supporting additional uses through power level adjustments and eased restrictions on record-keeping for Low Power indoor deployments.

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05. Autumn Statement aims to bring Investment Certainty for Telecoms Sector

Companies can now fully expense the cost of qualifying plant and machinery in the year of investment, providing more certainty for long-term planning. This includes items crucial to the telecoms sector like fibre optic cabling, ducts, poles, base stations, and network equipment. This change is anticipated to stimulate increased investment in the deployment of fibre and mobile infrastructure across the country.

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06. UK Government’s National Underground Asset Register (NUAR) set to expand to the whole UK by 2025

(this will open in a new window)The National Underground Asset Register (NUAR) is the digital UK map of underground pipes and cables (broadband, power, water, etc), which can be used to improve the way that national infrastructure is planned, built and managed (e.g., future full fibre broadband and 5G mobile networks). It also aims to reduce the amount of accidental damage that occurs to existing infrastructure during civil engineering works. NUAR is now available across England and Wales and is expected to expand to include Northern Ireland in Spring 2024. This means that together with the Scottish Community Apparatus Data Vault, all areas will be covered by a standardised digital service for sharing and accessing subsurface utility data.

NUAR set to expand to the whole UK by 2025

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07. November Sees More Communities Hampering Deployment of Fixed and Mobile Networks

There have been a number of stories in the press this month regarding members of the public taking action to prevent or hamper the deployment of fixed and mobile networks in their area. Much of this has centred around the use of poles for the deployment of new full fibre networks, with residents becoming increasingly bold in their actions to prevent poles being installed in their area (blocking roads, parking over build sites etc.). In extreme cases this includes using chainsaws to cut down the offending poles or climbing on contractor’s vehicles (resulting in an arrest and trip to the hospital). We’re more used to seeing this with regard to mobile mast deployment, where a new trend seems to have emerged of blocking mobile mast construction with parked vehicles.

All of this highlights there is still much to be done to improve engagement with communities, strengthen planning regulations, and working together to ensure that everyone has access to the connectivity they need to live and work.

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08. Webinar Recording - Improving Mobile Connectivity: Data Mapping and Interventions

FarrPoint's recent webinar explored the dynamic landscape of the UK's mobile connectivity. Guided by a panel of experts, there were great discussions around data insights, service enhancements, and the crucial roles of local authorities, operators, and regulators.

FarrPoint Webinar

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09. The 2023 INCA Conference

(this will open in a new window)The INCA Conference this year demonstrated the notable shift in the industry from the race to build fibre, to the all-important drive for take-up of FTTP services. Also on the agenda was the financial environment with insight from investors and industry leaders alike on how the market may evolve over the coming years, with respect to competition and consolidation.

Highlights reel from the event coming soon but for more info about INCA visit: (this will open in a new window)


We invite you to reach out and share your news with us at [email protected], or if you'd like to explore any of the topics in greater depth, don't hesitate to get in touch. We hope this and our future updates will keep you well-informed about the ever-changing landscape of the telecoms industry.

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