The Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill is legislation introduced by the government intended to do the following: 

  • Provide regulation-making powers to introduce mandatory security requirements for consumer connectable products (so-called smart or Internet of Things (IoT) devices) sold in the UK. (Part 1)
  • Make changes to the electronic communications code (ECC) which governs the rights of telecoms companies to install infrastructure on land, in part to further the expansion of mobile, full fibre and gigabit capable networks across the UK. (Part 2)

Among the measures provided for by part 1 include a requirement for consumable connectable products to have a vulnerability disclosure policy through which any security weakness in a product is identified and notified; a ban on default passwords; and a transparency requirement on how long a manufacturer will provide security updates for the product. The provisions in part 1 have largely been welcomed by industry stakeholders and opposition parties. Though some fears have been voiced about the additional burden on manufacturers, particularly small companies.

The measures in part 2 are focused on encouraging faster and more collaborative negotiations for the installation and maintenance of telecoms equipment on private land. Stakeholder debate on part 2 has been highly polarised between the telecoms and mobile industry on one side, and property owner groups on the other. In Parliament, opposition parties have been broadly supportive of the aims of the legislation but have raised concerns on several areas, including whether the bill goes far enough to advance the rollout of new technology and digital capacity; accessing property owned by absentee landlords; and calling for a review of the economic impact of the ECC. The bill also does not address the question of land valuation reforms introduced to the ECC in 2017, which observers such as the Law Society have said appear to lie at the heart of many disagreements on land usage. 

The bill has been carried over from the 2021–22 parliamentary session. It has completed its passage through the House of Commons, and its second reading in the House of Lords is scheduled to take place on 6 June 2022.


Related posts

  • The UK economy in the 1980s

    This briefing is the fourth of a series on the post-war history of the UK economy. The series proceeds decade-by-decade from the 1950s onwards, providing an overview of the key macroeconomic developments of each decade. This briefing looks at the 1980s. The decline in the profitability of industry, which began in the 1960s, was reversed in this decade; however, the share of national income received by workers fell to a post-war low.

    The UK economy in the 1980s
  • Support for opera

    Concerns have been raised about the state of the opera sector in England, with much of this focused on the financial pressures it is facing. A number of English opera institutions are now receiving reduced Arts Council funding and, taken together with increasing cost pressures and inflation, this has led to cuts in performances and concerns about the sector’s future viability. In addition, concerns have been raised about diversity and equality across opera, including in audiences and the workforce. Arts Council England has said it will be having discussions with sector representatives about how these issues can be best addressed.

    Support for opera
  • UEFA European Football Championship 2028

    The UK and the Republic of Ireland are due to jointly host the European Football Championship in 2028 (EURO 28). The UK government hopes it will deliver £2.4bn in socio-economic benefits to cities and communities across the UK. EURO 28 will be held in 10 venues across England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland. However, there have been recent concerns over the costs of the development of one of those venues: Casement Park in Belfast.

    UEFA European Football Championship 2028