The Government want to ensure that the UK has world-class fixed and wireless digital infrastructure as soon as possible, unlocking the huge economic and social benefits these will bring. As we become more dependent on these technologies, their security and resilience becomes vital. That is why the Telecommunications (Security) Act was passed last year to deliver important improvements to the security of public telecoms networks and services within the UK.
The new telecoms security framework established by the Act is designed to ensure public telecoms providers protect vulnerable parts of their networks and services. The overarching security duties inserted into the Communications Act 2003 will be accompanied by specific security measures contained in regulations. A code of practice will provide detailed technical guidance on the actions providers can take to meet their legal obligations.
I am pleased to inform the House that we have today published a consultation on the draft regulations and a code of practice. The Act requires the Government to consult on any codes of practice that are issued or revised. Given the need to ensure appropriate and proportionate secondary legislation for the initial implementation of the new framework, today’s consultation also extends to the regulations. These were developed through engagement with the National Cyber Security Centre, industry and Ofcom. The responses to the consultation will be used to inform the final regulations and security measures contained in the code of practice.
Telecommunications policy is reserved and the Communications Act applies and extends across the UK.
I have placed a copy of the consultation in the Libraries of both Houses.