Westminster eForum

Conferences that are scheduled to take place before September will be conducted online.
The format will mirror physical conferences organised by the Forum with speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish.
The conferences will be chaired and there will be opportunities for delegate questions and comments.
We will be contacting all participants in advance of each conference with full information and guidance on how to take part.
There will be some exceptions where conferences will be postponed, for instance those that would largely involve key stakeholders in the NHS or emergency services.
All participants affected by this will be informed as soon as possible.
If you’d like to speak to us over the phone about any booking-related queries, please call one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7538736244

Next steps for developing the UK’s fibre infrastructure

Morning, Tuesday, 28th April 2020


This conference will consider the way forward for developing and investing in fibre network infrastructure in the UK.

Areas for discussion include:

  • competition and investment in network rollout;
  • achieving widespread coverage and rolling out infrastructure in rural areas;
  • the government’s legislative programme and public funding;
  • planning frameworks, access rights, construction and development; and
  • the role of digital infrastructure to the uk’s wider economic performance.

It takes place in the context of:

  • The recently-opened consultation on Ofcom’s Wholesale Fixed Telecoms Market Review for 2021-26;
  • New legislation aiming to speed up implementation of gigabit capable broadband announced in the Queen’s Speech, following government’s earlier £5bn spending commitments;
  • The announcement by Openreach that it will be extending its build programme for fibre networks to include a further 250,000 homes and businesses in rural areas;
  • The Shared Rural Network, supported by £510m of government funding;
  • The announcement in the Budget of the latest areas to be awarded funding under the Local Full Fibre Networks Challenge Fund: North of Tyne, South Wales, Tay Cities, Pembrokeshire, Plymouth,  Essex and Hertfordshire, and the East Riding of Yorkshire; and
  • The National Infrastructure Strategy, expected to be published later this year.


There will be keynote contributions from:

  • David Clarkson, Group Director, Competition, Ofcom;
  • Colin Cook, Director, Digital, The Scottish Government; and
  • Andy Green, Commissioner, National Infrastructure Commission.

Further speakers include: Alex Blowers, CityFibreCatherine Colloms, Openreach; Laura Holdgate, Which?I; Matthew Howett, Assembly and David Rodman, Virgin Media.

The chairs for this conference are: David Duguid MP, Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Broadband and Digital Communication; and Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy, Science & Innovation.

The agenda and keynote contributions

  • Competition and regulation in future network rollout - key aims of the Market Review;
  • The quality of digital infrastructure and future UK economic performance;
  • Developing fibre and gigabit-capable networks in the UK - incentivising investment, infrastructure access and achieving greater competition;
  • Addressing the challenges of achieving widespread high-speed network coverage - latest thinking from Scotland;
  • The way forward for addressing consumer priorities in broadband infrastructure - pricing, reliability and widening coverage; and
  • The Government’s key priorities for the UK’s digital infrastructure - investment, coverage obligations and new legislation.

Engagement with policy officials at this conference

This Westminster eForum conference has attracted particularly strong interest from policymakers. It will be an opportunity for stakeholders to engage with officials who have reserved places representing: BDUK; DCMS; BEIS; the Cabinet Office; Ofcom; the Crown Commercial Service; the Geospatial Commission; the National Audit Office; the National Crime Agency; the Valuation Office Agency; the Department for International Trade; The Scottish Government and the Welsh Government.

Keynote Speaker

David Clarkson

Group Director, Competition, Ofcom

Keynote Speakers

David Clarkson

Group Director, Competition, Ofcom

Andy Green

Commissioner, National Infrastructure Commission


Chi Onwurah MP

Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy, Science & Innovation

David Duguid MP

Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Broadband and Digital Communication


Daniel Butler

Director of Communications and Policy Strategy, Hyperoptic

Laura Holdgate

Principal Policy Advisor, Telecoms and Digital Infrastructure, Which?

Alex Blowers

Director of Regulatory Affairs, CityFibre

Catherine Colloms

Director, Corporate Affairs and Brand, Openreach

David Rodman

Executive Director, Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs, Virgin Media

Matthew Howett

Principal Analyst and Founder, Assembly