Briefing Papers

In addition to formal responses to official consultation, FCS prepares regular policy positions and briefing papers to help inform and stimulate debate, or to provide foundation stones for future work. In addition, we regularly receive, review and criticise inputs from consultancies, trade bodies and other public sector organisations. This page provides links and commentaries to both FCS-authored and third-party documents which bear upon the needs of our industry.


Radio mast site interference:  FCS guidance note on proximate transmitters - October 2016 

Resilient radio communications systems rely on everyone following the same rules.  This headline briefing paper reminds members of the consequences and regulatory issues when some people don't follow those rules.  Issued as a result of 'internet of things' deployments using unshielded equipment, made too close to existing shared mast sites.


Rural Broadband: Scottish Rural Action Broadband Working Group Report - August 2016  

Detailed and impartial discussion on the needs, aspirations and willingness of rural communities to seek out fit-for-purpose connectivity solutions.  And of the barriers and frustrations caused by incumbent providers and by well-intentioned top-down interventions by politicians. 


Business Broadband: Institute of Directors calls for a 10GB future - March 2016

Britain's second-largest business campaign group nails its colours to the digital mast -- after surveying members on current and projected digital requirements, the IOD articulates the case for the UK to start planning now in anticipation of exponential growth by 2030.


Response to the Ofcom Consultation on Communications Services and SME’s - March 2015.

By the Trade Association Forum.  A survey of trade associations ansd some of their SME members provides a helpful snapshot of the frustrations of directors of businesses for whom communication is key -- both with their CPs and with the network providers.


Presentation on The Mobile Industry: Time for complete re-regulation - November 2014.

By Vivian Woodell, Chief Executive of the Phone Co-op:  slide-set from his speech at the global MVNO event.  Argues for universal mobile roaming and the separation of mast-site infrastructure from service delivery as a mechanism to encourage consumer choice. 


Independent blogger's submission to DCMS Consultation on Britain's Digital Communications Infrastructure Strategy - October 2014.

By Philip Virgo, former Secretary General of the EURIM (Digital Single Market) policy action group and lynch-pin of the Conservative Technology Forum's IT and communications policy work.  Philip gives an independent, experienced and detailed overview of the issues, drawing on both his own experiences and from multiple industry sources including members of the Digital Policy Alliance.  


Response to the DCMS Consultation on Britain's Digital Communications Infrastructure - October 2014.

By INCA, the Independent Networks Cooperative Association.  INCA members argue for open access to wholesale connectivity, an end to state subsidy for the legacy copper network and a commitment to benchmarking against Scandinavian levels of fibre-to-the-premises solutions.


Stakeholders’ comments on the proposal for a European regulation on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market - December 20th 2012.

A detailed critique by UK IT and comms stakeholders of the inpenetrable language and heavy-handed principles contained in the EU's latest attempt to standardise electronic transactions. 


An introduction to Private Mobile Radio - January 2014.

The first output of the industry 'spectrum cluster' stekeholders group advising DCMS on the present and future use of radio spectrum is this guidance paper on the pervasive presence and multiple uses of Private Mobile Radio (PMR).  It contains the fundamentals of the FCS position on calculating the value of radio spectrum use in terms of benefits delivered to society, rather than cash received at auction. 


A Contribution towards the Impending Ofcom Strategic 5-Year Plan for Spectrum - August 1st 2012.

This ‘light paper’ was prepared by the FCS Spectrum Strategy Group to feed some early intelligence into Ofcom’s forthcoming review of spectrum allocations. It provides a useful snapshot of industry predictions for future spectrum usage patterns, and highlights potential ‘pinch points’ which have since emerged in more recent Ofcom work around 700MHz and the 10-year plan.


Competitive Broadband for Britain - 26th February 2014.

This is a high-level document prepared at the request of the Conservative Technology Forum to feed into a briefing about broadband roll-out for council leaders. Mindful of the Public Accounts Committee hearings into Broadband Delivery UK’s decision to award 100% of taxpayer-funded fibre contracts to BT, FCS argues for business-grade solutions, and for competitive tendering based around likely usage patterns, rather than a one-size-fits-all presumption. Public sector best practice from elsewhere in the comms market – the PSN procurement framework – is referenced as a model for best practice.


Impact of radio spectrum on the UK economy and factors influencing future spectrum demand - 5th November 2012.

Jointly funded by BIS and DCMS, this extensive 2012 report from Analysis Mason articulates and applies a methodology for calculating the commercial value of the various current uses of radio spectrum in the UK. This report provided an important datum for the auction of ‘digital dividend’ spectrum in the 800MHz and 1.2GHz bands at the end of 2012 – the so-called 4G auction. Conspicuous by its absence – and referenced only in passing as ’too complicated’ -- is any methodology for working out the value to society of the spectrum which enables ports to operate, trains to run and power networks to switch loads.


IOD Members Broadband Survey   January 2013.

A rare piece of business-specific research on the Broadband market, this poll of Institute of Directors members highlights business owners' dissatisfaction with being offered consumer-grade solutions for business needs.


Radio Switchover: The Facts - November 2012.

A rather lightweight consumer hand-out from Digital Radio UK, summarizing the fundamentals of the proposed switch from analogue radio broadcasting to digital. An important first-shot in the campaign to raise public awareness and help point drivers towards the need for professional vehicle installers to upgrade their in-car listening experience.


Proposal for an EU Data Protection Regulation - 22nd November 2012.

The UK comms industry was extremely concerned about the potential impact of the draft EU Data Protection Regulation, which threatened, in its original form, to make the EU the most expensive place in the world in which to do business. This impact assessment from the Ministry of Justice demonstrates the cost to the UK taxpayer of implementing the proposed regime in its original format. Weighty documents like this help inform and underpin the UK industry’s case with government.


House of Lords enquiry into Superfast Broadband - 31st July 2012.

Newly updated and corrected, this link shows the body of written evidence the House of Lords Communications Committee considered in its 2012 investigation into the best route forward to provide a resilient and future-proof broadband infrastructure for the UK.  The Committee's final report -- Broadband for all -- an alternative vision -- vindicated FCS's position of the need for a 'fat pipe' utility infrastructure, over which resellers and public sector users would lease capacity.


SME Telecoms Summary Report - October 2010.

Arguably bit long in the tooth now.  But this seminal research by YouGov is still useful in demonstrating the unique value specialist comms providers bring to equipping the UK SME business community with the means to communicate and transact withone another.