Westminster eForum

Next steps for developing the UK’s fibre infrastructure

Morning, Tuesday, 28th April 2020

Central London


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 recent 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; and
  • The National Infrastructure Strategy, expected to be published later this year.


There will be keynote contributions from:

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

Further speakers include: Alex Blowers, CityFibre; Emily Clark, BT; Catherine Colloms, Openreach; Laura Holdgate, Which? and David Rodman, Virgin Media.

The agenda and keynote contributions

  • Competition and regulation in future network rollout - key aims of the Market Review;
  • The impact of the quality of UK digital infrastructure on future economic performance;
  • Developing fibre and gigabit-capable networks in the UK - incentivising investment, infrastructure access and achieving greater competition;
  • The challenges for widespread high-speed network coverage in Scotland;
  • Consumer priorities in broadband infrastructure - pricing, reliability and widening coverage; and
  • Government policy 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 strong interest from policymakers. It will be an opportunity for stakeholders to engage with officials who have reserved places representing: BDUK; BEIS; Cabinet Office; National Audit Office; National Crime Agency; Valuation Office Agency; the Welsh Government; and the Department for International Trade.

Keynote Speaker

David Clarkson

Group Director, Competition, Ofcom

Keynote Speakers

David Clarkson

Group Director, Competition, Ofcom

Colin Cook

Director, Digital, The Scottish Government

James Heath

Director, Digital Infrastructure, DCMS

Andy Green

Commissioner, National Infrastructure Commission


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

Emily Clark

Chief Economist, BT