Government should maintain EU telecom and Internet rules after Brexit, says BSG

The Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG), which is a part of TechUK, has published a report urging the UK Government to maintain EU telecom and fast Internet rules after Britain formally leaves the European Union. It believes that this will help overcome the uncertainty that investors are currently facing and will spur investment in digital communications.

The BSG report has highlighted some of the consequences that the UK’s digital communications sector will face after Britain leaves the EU. These implications warrant a serious introspection, as this sector contributes approximately £30 billion annually to the UK economy.

Today, there is a huge demand for ultrafast Internet connectivity, wireless technologies and mobile services by both SMEs and large businesses. This demand previously attracted investors, but the uncertainty surrounding Brexit has adversely affected investments in the digital communications sector.

The BSG opines that creating a business-friendly environment will ensure that investments continue unhindered, and this will allow the UK to maintain its leadership position in digital technology and innovation after it leaves the EU in March 2019.

Richard Hooper, Chair of the BSG, said that the report offers an insight into the difficulties and challenges that the digital communications sector faces on account of Brexit. The UK Government should take the findings seriously, as digital businesses comprise 16 per cent of the nation’s economy, a percentage that is too big to ignore.

Mr Hooper urged the Government to work with the digital communications sector to ensure that regulatory certainty is maintained in the short and medium term while looking at other opportunities that the sector can benefit from in the long term.

The report also points out that the sector is heavily dependent on lower-skilled workers, particularly during the last couple of years with the launching of fibre-based Internet connectivity. Hence, the digital communications sector should focus on ensuring that it has both a highly skilled and lower-skilled workforce to help meet its goals after Brexit.

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