Late Post

UK telecoms industry gives guarded welcome to Telecommunications Bill proposal

Just when anyone would be forgiven for thinking the furore had ended regarding the need for telcos to remove the technology belonging to so called “at-risk” suppliers from their 5G infrastructures, think again, as new UK government legislation to further reinforce this degree opens up new wounds.

The UK government’s Telecommunications (Security) Bill, to be introduced on 24 November, aims to give the government unprecedented new powers to, in its words, boost the security standards of the UK’s telecoms networks and remove the threat of high-risk suppliers, principally Huawei.

It is also said to provide a basis to strengthen the security framework for technology used in 5G and full-fibre networks, including the electronic equipment and software at phone mast sites and in telephone exchanges which handle internet traffic and telephone calls.

The background of the new legislation is the decision in July 2020 by the UK government to commit to a timetable for the removal of Huawei equipment from the country’s growing 5G communications infrastructure by 2027 – effectively a huge U-turn to the decision it only took in January 2020 to restrict Huawei’s presence to just the radio access network element of 5G setups.

The call was made