Vodafone calls for regulatory red tape cut after £900m bill

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helen lamprell

Vodafone general counsel Helen Lamprell said the regulatory environment in the UK is “not conducive”

Vodafone has called for less regulatory intervention in the UK after the network revealed that its bill for compliance totals in the region of £900 million.

According to Vodafone general counsel Helen Lamprell (pictured), the regulatory environment in the UK is “not conducive” to infrastructure investment and interventions from regulators in recent years have resulted in expensive compliance cost and lost revenues.

Lamprell emphasised a need for a balance between regulation and time to let the market settle and carry out its own priorities.

Speaking at a media round table Lamprell said: “The reality is that the regulatory environment in the UK is not conducive to infrastructure investment.

“If we step back and look at regulatory intervention over the last couple of years, they have cost us in the region of £900 million and we say there needs to be a balance between regulatory intervention and where the market can settle.”

Equality

Ofcom was also challenged by Vodafone over the equality of the UK infrastructure market, adding that BT accounts for 70 per cent of the industry EBIT.

Lamprell also went on to say that dark fibre is “essential” for 5G and business broadband connections in the UK and that the the first draft of the report as a result of consultations for the 700MHz spectrum auction showed an “alarming lack of understanding” as to how long it takes to roll out infrastructure in the UK.

She added: “I hope Ofcom will look at the consultation responses carefully and amend it because if it doesn’t, it will hand yet another advantage to BT.
“If Openreach was this monopoly that was providing equally for all of us, that would be one thing.

“But all of that money that has come from Sky, and Vodafone and O2 is going to BT which isn’t acceptable if we want to get effective network competition in the UK.

“The next spectrum auction can be a great opportunity to change the way we do things in the UK so that we can use the spectrum auctions and the annual licence fees to incentivise rolling out infrastructure and we think that will be a way more sensible way of doing it.”

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