- Digital connectivity is fundamental to the success of the UK economy. Communities depend on reliable connections to ensure social inclusion; businesses embrace digital technology to open up new markets and simplify supply chains. The Government highlights the need to boost connectivity and coverage through their digital plans and investment.
- Building digital connectivity involves many stakeholders – the telecommunications providers, site providers and their advisers, local authorities, Government, regulators, and others. All these parties recognise the need to build strong relationships with each other to deliver our collective digital connectivity objectives.
- While there has been much progress in improving the UK’s digital connectivity in recent years, through Government policy, industry investment and landowner engagement, it is important to have the right structures in place to enable this progress to continue and to improve.
- The National Connectivity Alliance (‘NCA’) aims to bring together the telecommunications industry’s stakeholders to discuss issues of mutual interest, to improve collaboration and understanding, and to share best practice.
- The NCA is not a policy making body; its decisions do not bind its members to any course of action. It does not speak as a single voice on behalf of the sector. The NCA’s role is co-ordinate discussions between the industry’s stakeholders (in relation to access to land) , whose value lies in its ability to bring a broad range of stakeholders together with the overall objective of improving digital connectivity across the UK.
- The NCA operates within a defined structure that is administratively flexible and can function effectively. The NCA will continue the work of DCMS ‘access to land’ working groups within a structure agreed by the members of the NCA.
- The NCA has been established by a group of founder members (being the initial signatories of the Declaration of Intent), who have established a Steering Group (with a maximum of 24 members), designed to bring balance to the various interests represented in the NCA. The initial members of the Steering Group are listed in the Annex.
- The role of the founder members is to agree the initial Terms of Reference, appoint the first chair and Secretariat. Thereafter, the Steering Group will guide the direction and activity of the NCA. Constitutional matters of the NCA are decided by all Members ranking equally.
The Chair of the NCA
- The Chair’s primary responsibilities include:
- Chairing meetings of the NCA and the Steering Group
- Agreeing meeting agendas with the Secretariat
- Developing the NCA’s work plan with the Members
- Ensuring the NCA conducts itself in accordance with the Terms of Reference
- For the avoidance of doubt, the Chair is not a spokesman for the NCA and its members.
- The Chair is appointed at a meeting of the members and serves for a period of one year, with the option to extend for a further year. When a vacancy arises, any person wishing to stand for Chair must be nominated by a minimum of two members.
- Statement of Independence
The administration of the NCA is managed through a Chair and a three-party Secretariat which broadly balances stakeholder interests. The role of the Chair and Secretariat is to work together to promote the interests of, and the vision for, the NCA, acting at all times in accordance with the objectives of the NCA, as set out in the governance documents.
- The secretariat for the NCA is provided by a troika of the CLA, the NFU and Mobile UK. These organisations carry out their role on a pro bono basis.
- The responsibilities include:
- Agreeing meeting dates and agendas with the Chair
- Notifying Members of meeting dates and distributing agendas
- Making notes of meetings and distributing to members
- Monitoring deliverables from Working/Task & Finish Groups
- Other administrative support, as required
- The NCA will be chaired by the members of the Steering Group. Anyone wishing to stand as chair must be nominated by at least 2 members of the Steering Group. The chair cannot act as a spokesman. The role is to oversee the meetings of the Steering Group. The Steering Group meets six times per year and oversees the work of the NCA. To this end, it can create Working Groups and/or Task and Finish Groups to deliver work packages (such as Best Practice Guidance). Initially it is expected that such work packages will include progressing the work started under the auspices of the DCMS Access to Land Working Groups.
Members of the NCA
- The NCA has been established by the founder members (initial signatories to the Declaration of intent).
- Further organisations can be accepted into membership, provided they sign up to the Declaration of Intent of the NCA. All members have equal rights to attend and contribute.
- There is no fee for being a member of the NCA.
- Assembly meetings of the NCA take place regularly [estimate 3 times per annum] and can be held in person or on-line (or a hybrid of the two). Members are entitled to attend, as well as other stakeholders, at the invitation of the membership.
 Declaration of Intent – reference
Steering Group members (up to 22 August 2022)
- Charles Trotman (CLA)
- Eleanor Griggs (NFU)
- Chris Stratton (RICS)
- Rebecca Collins (CAAV)
- Simon Webb (BPF)
- Phillip Morris
- Warren Gordon (Law Society)
- Russell Glendinning (Cell CM)
- Paul Williams (Carter Jonas)
- Laura West (Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP)
- Jonathan Lovejoy (British Land)
- Caitlin Johnston (Gigaclear)
- Carlos Pierce (Blaser Mills Law)
- Will Black (Openreach)
- Alastair Davidson (WIG)
- Tim Stranack (Community Fibre)
- Richard Wakeley (Cluttons)
- James Allerton (MBNL)
- Catherine Haslam (DWF)
- Hamish Macleod (Mobile UK)
- Karen Warner/Andrew Holloway (Cellnex)
Members of the National Connectivity Alliance (up to 15 September 2023)
Country Land and Business Association (CLA)
National Farmers Union (NFU)
British Property Federation
Central Association for Agricultural Valuers (CAAV)
Wireless Infrastructure Group (WIG)
Local Government Association (LGA)
Genesis Tech Systems
Shared Access Ltd
Sheffield City Council
Scottish Land and Estates
NFU Scotland (to be approved in September)