Local Community Engagement
Exploring the deployment of wireless networks to pubicly owned infrastructure assets
The accelerated rollout of 5G and other advanced wireless networks, will bring benefits to the UK economy and communities across the country. There are a number of challenges surrounding such deployments though and the Digitial Connectivity Infrastructure Accelerator (DCIA), a project developed and run by DCMS, explores those involved in using publicly owned infrastructure assets to support the rollout of advanced wireless connectivity.
The DCIA project collaborates closely with other government programmes, such as the National Underground Asset Register, to ensure alignment of data models and coordination of stakeholder engagement.
This workstream seeks to support national adoption of online platforms which digitalise and automate, as far as possible, the process of finding and securing rights-of-use of suitable locations for deploying advanced wireless equipment. The aim is to make site acquisition transcations between public sector asset owners and telecommunications infrastructure providers more efficient, meeting the needs of all stakeholders.
Following a period of extensive market engagement, a technical specification was developed by DCMS in collaboration with mobile telecommunication infrastructure providers, UK regions and their constituent local authorities, government partners and potential solution providers. This specification represents a broad stakeholder consensus, endorsing a common approach to national adoption at scale.
DCMS is funding eight pilots to support the implementation of digital asset management solutions, based on the jointly developed technical specification. The regions and local authorities funded are working with industry partners to pilot digital asset management platforms and will build evidence of how digital mapping and brokerage of assets can benefit mobile network operators and their network delivery partners, users of mobile services, and hte public sector bodies as the primary providers of property assets for hosting of network equipment. You can read more about the funding competition here.
Outputs from the pilots, as well as an Early Adoption Group that has been established to provide practical support to other regions and local authorities, will be disseminated in real time. Read insights and learnings from the June 2022 DCIA dissemination event here.
Almost half (42%) of local authorities have a contractual issue which prohibits the installation of telecoms equipment on PFI assets. While 59% said that they have been approached regarding the installation of small cells.
DfT and DCMS have worked closely with three pilot local authorities to support short term and long term contractual solutions to facilitate the deployment of telecoms equipment. The short term option has been completed and the long term solution is in progress. Best practice knowledge is shared with all the local authorities that PFIs at quarterly networking events.
Standard contracts will be made available for local authorities to engage with digital infrastructure providers. DCMS has engaged with a selection of local authorities to explore how best practice from exsiting contracts can be made available to a wide network. Standard contracts from two local authorities are planned to be disseminated in 2022.
DCMS is working with BSI to develop publicly available specifications (PAS) for smart lamp posts. Phase one has looked at physical security standards, and the Smart Street Infrastructure Security Report sets out to explore the physical security landscape of street infrastructure, with a primary focus on telecom devices on street lighting columns and to identify areas where best practice and standards could improve the security of the assets.
Phase two will be focused on the delivery of specification documents.
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