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As well as news from INCA itself we are keen to include relevant news items from INCA members. Please send relevant items of news, ideally including a photo where relevant, to news@inca.coop. We'll publish news from members that we feel is of interest.

The Independent Networks Cooperative Association has today offered support for the Government’s Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review (FTIR) and welcomed the emphasis placed on full-fibre, 5G and the role alternative network operators (altnets) play.

Designed to transform the UK telecoms industry, the FTIR aims to open up access to world-class connectivity, regardless of where users are geographically located. It is hoped that this move will ignite new channels of competition within the UK telecoms industry and provide transitions for emerging technologies such as 5G.

Today we launch a search for the heroes of the UK’s digital infrastructure industry as we announce The INCAs, our inaugural awards scheme which will recognise alternative network providers (altnets).

Celebrating the best of the UK’s independent network builders and operators, the INCAs will highlight the innovative work being carried out by altnets across the UK.

UK broadband regulator Ofcom needs to consider new approaches to spectrum management to realise the full possibilities of 5G across the country, INCA CEO Malcolm Corbett said today, as a new report revealed Fixed Wireless Access can play a crucial role in delivering high-speed broadband across the country.

Commissioned by INCA and UKWISPA and conducted by Plum Consulting, the report ‘High performance wireless broadband: an opportunity for rural and enterprise 5G’ discusses the role independent networks will play in realising UK Government broadband targets especially in rural areas where investment in full fibre will take much longer to realise.

INCA's "Future Digital Infrastructure" seminar in Edinburgh at the end of May was hailed as a great success by many who participated in the sold out event. The next seminar, in Bristol on July 10, focussing on Software Defined Networking and Network Functions Virtualization (SDN/NFV) is also expected to be popular. More details and registration.

Presentations from the Edinburgh event are below:

Malcolm Corbett, INCA

Following the highly successful INCA Seminar on Full Fibre and 5G run in partnership with Biztech in May, we've produced this short video featuring some of the voices from the event.

INCA pledged its support to Chancellor Philip Hammond’s full-fibre broadband targets – and called on the Government and telecoms industry to ensure a collaborative approach.

Speaking at the annual CBI dinner, Hammond pledged to make full-fibre connections available to most homes and businesses by 2025 to help Britain thrive in the post-Brexit economy. Some experts have already cast doubt on the plans, saying small and mid-sized towns would miss out.

But INCA CEO Malcolm Corbett believes the plan is achievable with the right approach.

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New report predicts more than 14 million premises will be passed by altnets by 2025

Nearly one million homes and businesses in the UK are now in reach of ultrafast full fibre connectivity provided by alternative network providers (altnets), approaching double the number of premises reached by BT Openreach. Produced by Point Topic for INCA, and drawing together data from survey responses from INCA members, UKWISPA and Point Topic research programmes, the report also estimates that altnets with Fixed Wireless Access networks can reach up to a further two million premises, mainly in rural areas.

Digital and Culture Minister Margot James said:

INCA members have welcomed the government's announcement that the connection voucher scheme will be extended nationwide. The plan is part of the DCMS Local Full Fibre Networks initiative. Vouchers are designed to help small businesses - and in some cases consumers - pay for the connection to a new gigabit capable service. A number of INCA member firms have used vouchers to extend full fibre and superfast wireless networks.

In December 2017 DCMS issued a Call for Views on the 5G Network Deployment Pilots. 

Through its 5G Strategy, the government aims to accelerate the deployment of 5G networks and to ensure that the UK can take early advantage of the applications those networks can enable. The Call sought views on the appropriate scale and scope of deployment pilots that will help to establish the conditions under which 5G can be deployed in a timely way and help foster the development of the UK’s 5G ecosystem.

INCA's submission can be downloaded here in full.

INCA has made a submission in response to the Call for Evidence launched in December by DCMS.

The cross-government Review, led by DCMS, will assess whether any additional policy interventions are needed to create the conditions for long term investment in world-class digital connectivity.

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