The Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure (PSTI) Bill aims to solve security flaws on smart devices while also facilitating the implementation of 5G and gigabit-capable broadband (fibre). The normal lagged process of consultation, debate, and approval looks to be in the final stages now.
New rules would require manufacturers, importers and distributors to comply with new security requirements relating to consumer connectable products. There are two parts to the bill. The first examines smart device security, and the second focuses on accelerating 5G and fibre rollouts in the UK.
- The Product Security measures (Part 1 of the Bill)
- The Telecommunications Infrastructure measures (Part 2 of the Bill)
Rights to Install:
The Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure claims to deal with the apparent problem that "many telecom operators and landowners report experiencing difficulties when negotiating requests for rights to install, use, and upgrade telecoms infrastructure" and a "lack of clarity and consistency" concerning the procedure involving renewal agreements.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR):
Changes to the Electronic Communications Code will "encourage collaborative negotiations for agreeing new and renewing expired agreements by introducing a requirement for telecoms operators to consider the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) rather than legal proceedings in cases where there are difficulties in agreeing on terms and introduce new provisions to enable operators to obtain Code rights over certain types of land quickly in circumstances where a landowner does not respond.
Security for Smart Devices:
The government estimates that barely one in five smart devices meet the most basic security criteria, which is covered in the bill's other section. To prevent insecure items from being sold on the UK market, new regulations would "require makers, importers, and distributors to meet new security criteria relating to consumer connectable products; and create an enforcement system with civil and criminal fines."
The new law will facilitate easier deployment of full-fibre broadband and mobile operators to upgrade, share and deploy new infrastructure. The Act will also make cyber security stronger so that the UK has the world's best smart technology security regime.