Local government should actively facilitate the deployment of mobile telecoms infrastructure:
- a) Local authorities should work together and with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to develop coordinated local mobile connectivity delivery plans. These plans should:
- set out how local authorities and LEPs will enable the deployment of mobile networks and maximise the opportunities and benefits to residents and businesses;
- be developed in discussion with mobile network operators and infrastructure owners; l identify a designated individual with lead responsibility for engaging with mobile telecoms infrastructure providers;
- consider the role of local government assets and infrastructure, (e.g. land, buildings, roads, street furniture) and help coordinate the role that other public buildings in an area (e.g. hospitals and universities) can play to facilitate the deployment of mobile telecoms infrastructure; and
- consider how the deployment of digital infrastructure can be established as a priority in local planning policy.
- Local authorities and LEPs should report annually to the government department with responsibility for digital infrastructure on their progress delivering against these plans.
- b) Local models for facilitating the deployment of these networks should be piloted and evaluated to inform national roll-out. Any pilot programme should allow for the evaluation of deployment models in different types of area (e.g. urban, rural, coastal) and in both single-tier and two-tier local government areas. It should also seek to establish how high quality design can minimise the impact of hosted infrastructure on the built environment. Such pilots would be a good use of a proportion of the funding recently announced in the Autumn Statement to support mobile telecoms infrastructure.