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.

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