Scotland Policy Conferences

Developing Scotland’s telecoms infrastructure: investment, regulation and meeting future needs

Morning, Tuesday, 2nd April 2019

Central Edinburgh


This conference will bring together policymakers and key stakeholders to examine next steps for delivering telecoms infrastructure in Scotland.

With increased connectivity challenges in rural areas, delegates will examine the latest thinking in tackling the challenges for delivering telecoms infrastructure, to meet the Scottish and UK Government’s shared objective of providing broadband coverage to the ‘final 5%’ in rural areas. 

As the UK Government consults on the new strategic priorities set out for Ofcom to support improved coverage, investment and a better deal for consumers, attendees will consider issues raised by the Scottish Affairs Committee and Audit Scotland reports into what is needed to deliver 100% broadband coverage.

This includes calls for greater cross-government collaboration in the UK and Scottish Governments and aligning regulatory frameworks set by Government to local market conditions.

Further sessions will examine the potential use of funding available to businesses and local government through the Gigabit Voucher Scheme and the establishment of a Barrier Busting Task Force by the UK Government in their Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review.

Delegates will also look at the future for commercial investment in strategic infrastructure deployment in fibre broadband and to develop 5G networks - taking into account The Scottish Government’s 4G Infill Programme and recently-announced forthcoming 5G Strategy - as well as the impact of The Scottish Government’s £600m investment to deliver superfast broadband connectivity by 2021 and the UK Government’s UK-wide £1.1bn digital connectivity package in Scotland.

The agenda looks at the future for regulating and setting the market conditions to support investment and the putting in place infrastructure and services to best meet the demands of businesses and consumers.

Sessions will discuss what will be needed from the telecoms industry and from policy to keep pace with the evolving needs of consumers particularly those in rural areas - taking into account competition issues and regulatory frameworks, and in the context of latest trends in service provision and technological innovation - including services for on-the-move customers.

Keynote Speakers

Paul Wheelhouse MSP

Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands

Pete Wishart MP

Chair, House of Commons Scottish Affairs Select Committee

Clive Carter

Director of Strategy, Ofcom

Keynote Speakers

Pete Wishart MP

Chair, House of Commons Scottish Affairs Select Committee

Fraser McKinlay

Controller of Audit & Director of Performance Audit and Best Value, Audit Scotland

Melissa Giordano

Deputy Director for Mobile Infrastructure & Spectrum, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Paul Wheelhouse MSP

Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands

Clive Carter

Director of Strategy, Ofcom


Richard Lyle MSP

Member, Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee

Rhoda Grant MSP

Shadow Spokesperson for Rural Economy


Rob Evans

Managing Director of Lightning, Virgin Media

Professor Robert Stewart

Chief Project Advisor, 5G RuralFirst

Alastair Davidson

Director, Wireless Infrastructure Group

Fraser Grieve

Member, Rural Commission and Regional Director, SCDI

Brendan Dick

Chair, Scotland, Openreach

Paul Morris

Head of Government Affairs and Sustainable Business, Vodafone

Matt Yardley

Partner, Analysys Mason

Stuart Mackinnon

External Affairs Manager, Scotland, Federation of Small Businesses