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Cornerstone’s Six Point Plan to Improve UK Mobile Infrastructure UPDATE

Wednesday, Apr 24th, 2024 (12:34 pm) - Score 1,840

Mobile infrastructure services provider Cornerstone (CTIL), which handles the UK network sharing agreement between O2 (VMO2) and Vodafone (Vantage Towers), has outlined a new plan to Government MP Sir John Whittingdale that it hopes will help digital infrastructure deployments – particularly for 4G and 5G (mobile broadband).

The announcement seems to be built off the back of a meeting between Cornerstone’s senior leaders, Belinda Fawcett (Director of Property and Estates) and Jamie Hayes (Chief Sales and Commercial Officer), and MP Sir John Whittingdale (Minister of State for Department of Science, Innovation, and Technology in 2023) at a tower site in the right honourable member’s constituency of Maldon.

NOTE: Cornerstone manages a UK estate of 15,500 sites (masts, rooftops, small cells etc.).

The visit aimed to bring closer collaboration and dialogue on critical issues surrounding infrastructure deployment and governmental support. John Whittingdale’s insights into the challenges faced by the local authorities, particularly in terms of planning resources, are said to have highlighted the need for central government support.

Mobile operators have of course been pleading with the government to give them more support in recent months (example), so none of this should come as any particular surprise, and a lot of the talking points we’ve seen before appear to be touched on again in the new “Six Point Plan” below. But this time the announcement we’ve seen is less of a “plan” and more a list of six very vague bullet points.

The Six Point “Plan”

– Enhance Support for Local Planning Authorities (LPAs)
– Closer Engagement in Digital Connectivity Section of “Section 106” Agreements
– Empower Digital Champions
– Streamline Planning Regime
– Legislative Changes for Multi-Skilled Visit (MSV)
– Implementation of PSTI Act Provisions

Belinda Fawcett, General Counsel and Property Director at Cornerstone, said:

“This visit is about highlighting the significance of collaboration between industry and government in leading the way in bringing digital infrastructure capability to all areas of the UK in an economically viable and sustainable way.

The necessity of appointing and funding of digital champions in local government and further support for submitted planning applications is urgently needed to accelerate the deployment of crucial digital infrastructure, to benefit the local communities.”

Whether the government will actually get behind ALL of this with something tangible remains unclear, although the looming prospect of a General Election may get in the way of these efforts.

UPDATE 15th May 2024

Cornerstone has today fleshed out their six point plan with a lot more detail (here).

Six Point Plan

1. Planning for Prosperity: Advocating for enhanced funding and resource support for local planning authorities to expedite telecommunications infrastructure planning applications.

2. Digital Integration Mandate: Proposing a mandate for local authorities to incorporate digital connectivity plans into development processes, ensuring future-proofed infrastructure.

3. Local Digital Champions: Empowering and funding Digital Champions within local authorities to facilitate the rollout of telecommunications infrastructure and align with digital and economic development strategies.

4. Unified Planning Framework: Harmonising planning regimes between central and devolved governments to promote regulatory coherence and streamline infrastructure development.

5. Digital Access Act: Calling for legislative changes to streamline access procedures under the Electronic Communications Code, facilitating efficient deployment of critical infrastructure.

6. PSTI Implementation Act: Urging the implementation of provisions under the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Act (PSTI) to enhance investment and industry consistency.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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11 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Vivienne knott says:

    Their plan is to make a few quid by placing North Korean industrial masts near people’s homes.
    Just like Three, sooner or later this grubby operation will be shut down.

    1. Avatar photo Sam says:

      So, if you want decent signal they have to go somewhere…

    2. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      anywhere in your book then? Even next to your house for example or in a beauty or natural area?

    3. Avatar photo XGS says:

      How many different names are you planning on using to comment on every Three-related and some totally unrelated stories here?

    4. Avatar photo AC says:

      No masts, no signal. Maybe something could be done about the look of the masts sometimes, but if you want a signal a mast has to go somewhere.

    5. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      Oh simplistic comments 🙂 Masts do have to go somewhere that somewhere is with correct rules and controls applied. Not yeah hah over them to let them go wherever the telecomms company wants them. Supposed to be a democracy, not state dictatorship.

  2. Avatar photo anonymous says:

    “Streamline Planning Regime” = dumb down anybody’s right to question site placement or prevent it. Streamline is the new word for “Simplify” that most people now see through.

    “Empower Digital Champions” = Give power to bully everyone into submission

    “Enhance Support for Local Planning Authorities” = Remove Local Authority rights to object

    Just a follow on then from “simplification” of Planning Applications where the council no longer have to write to you with details, even if on your door step. Its left up to you to check weekly planning lists and hope it appears as you’d expect the location to appear (and not deliberately obfuscated).

  3. Avatar photo XGS says:

    I see the anti-5G crew have gotten their teeth into ISPR’s comments. Must be a quiet day for contrails.

    1. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      Why an incorrect assumption of anti-5G??????

      Anti corruption of government and council policies, yes.

      Anyway 5G mostly a waste of space. Getting no better than 4G in most places with just a few lucky places getting speed.

  4. Avatar photo Forum User says:

    Not you again – the spelling of “Telcoms” gives you away. You were banned from the forums for endlessly posting this drivel.

  5. Avatar photo binary says:

    Tempted to suggest ISPr should implement a requirement to register/login in order to post a comment, which would provide a little friction that might discourage some of the inanity which seems to currently be landing here.

Comments are closed

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