New UK foreign investment law to impact telecoms, digital and data transactions

Summary By the end of 2021, many corporate transactions in the communications, data infrastructure, artificial intelligence, satellite and space technologies sectors (and some others) will be subject to mandatory notification to, and national security review by, the UK government. Implementation timetable The National Security and Investment Act 2021 (“Act“) became part of UK law on …

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UK Gigabit fibre access regulation and funding

Gigabit fibre to the home in the UK: Ofcom finalises regulatory framework and Government announces funding package for the “last 20%” On 18 March 2021, Ofcom published the outcome of its Wholesale Fixed Telecoms Market Review (“WFTMR“). On 19 March 2021 the UK Government’s Department for Culture Media and Sport (“DCMS“) announced £5 billion of …

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EU and UK set out digital plans for coming decade

The European Commission has proposed a ‘digital compass’ to set its course for a digitally empowered Europe by 2030. The UK’s Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) has also set out its top ten priorities for a technology driven future to ‘build back better’ following the Covid19 pandemic. European Digital Compass At a press …

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UK proposes statutory backing for Huawei 5G ban

On 24 November 2020, the UK Government started the legislative process for a new Telecoms (Security) law which will, when passed into law, provide statutory backing for their already announced policy objective to exclude Huawei (and potentially other ‘high risk vendors’) from the UK’s 5G (and other) networks on the grounds on national security. This …

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Europe proposes lower voice termination rates

On 25 August 2020, the European Commission proposed a regulation to set Europe-wide (lower) voice termination rates of 0.2 euro cents per minute for mobile voice and 0.07 euro cents per minute for fixed voice. The introduction of these new termination rate ceilings are subject to: a three year ‘glide path’ (to 1 Jan 2024) …

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US restrictions sound death knell for Huawei?

The US has updated its rules to prevent Huawei’s access to commercially available chips that use US technology in a move that could sound the death knell for the Chinese telecoms firm. Under new restrictions, announced on Monday 17 August by the US Commerce Department, companies globally will need to obtain a licence to sell …

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UK confirms it will mostly implement new EU telecoms law (despite Brexit)

On 22 July 2020, the UK government confirmed that it would largely implement the European Electronic Communications Code – the EU’s updated, harmonised regulatory framework for telecoms – into UK law by 21 December 2020. This confirms the approach from that first announced in July 2019, providing welcome certainty, despite a change in the leader …

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UK excludes Huawei from 5G

UK excludes Huawei from 5G and broadband networks: the UK Government has announced a U-turn on Huawei’s involvement in 5G networks, following a meeting of the National Security Council, that will delay 5G rollout by two to three years and increase costs by up to £2 billion.

How will Ofcom’s role change in 2020?

On 30 April 2020 Ofcom published its work plan for 2020/21, which flags two new material upcoming changes in its role for 2020: becoming the regulator for on-line harms (aka dealing with ‘fake news’ on social media) enforcing the UK’s policy to limit/exclude Chinese network vendors from UK 5G network deployment. Ofcom explains: “…the UK …

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Ofcom consults on revision of (half of) UK’s general authorisation conditions

As anticipated, Ofcom yesterday started a consultation on its plans to update the UK’s Conditions of General Entitlement i.e. the obligations placed on all telecoms operators in the UK that rely on the UK’s general authorisation.

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