The Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill (PSTIB) will be re-read on 26 January 2022.
The Bill would:
Information about the Bill’s stages and related publications is provided on the Page of Parliamentary Bill.
Security requirements must be met by connected products
Part 1 of the Bill addresses the power to create mandatory security requirements for connected products such as smart phones, smart TVs and connected speakers. These products could also referred to as “smart devices”Or “internet of things (IoT”) devices.
What are the security and safety standards for smart devices?
While connected products are subjected to certain safety standards there are currently no mandatory security requirements. Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the risks these products could pose to their privacy and security. These include privacy and safety issues as well as the possibility of cyber-attacks.
The Government published a voluntary Code of Practice for Consumer IoT Security,2018 It provided manufacturers and others with guidance (13 Principles), on how to ensure that connectable products are secure.
The Government sought to consult in 2019 regarding imposing mandatory security requirements for connectable products. This was done to address low adoption rates and ongoing risks to consumers. Legislative suggestions were discussed in 2020.
What would be the Bill’s future?
The Bill would allow for the Secretary of State to regulate the introduction security requirements for UK-sold connector products.
The The Government has statedIt intends that the Bill will affect the following products:
Some products, such as smart meters, medical equipment and vehicles, will be exempted.
The Government indicated that it will use clause 1 of Bill to implement the Code of Practice’s top 3 guidelines.
It would also impose duties on manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers of these products to ensure compliance with the statutes.
The Bill provides a list of possible enforcement options in the event that compliance is breached. For serious issues of non-compliance, the Bill sets the maximum penalty at £10 million or 4% of the company’s worldwide revenue.
Modifications to the electronic communications code
Part 2 would include modifications to the electronic communication codes (ECC). The ECC governs all telecoms companies’ rights to build infrastructure in the UK.
Reforms in ECC before.
2017 saw significant reforms in the ECC. These included changes in rights and procedures for resolving disputes. It also changed how land is valued to determine rent for hosting telecom equipment.
The ECC reforms were controversial. They have often been met with opposition from telecoms operators (landowners), and site providers. The Government must strike a balance between ensuring digital connectivity is available to all while respecting property rights.
The land valuation reforms are especially controversial. According to reports, Hosting telecoms equipmentThey have been reduced in some cases. According to the ECC this is a major reason for Restrictions on infrastructure roll-outthrough lengthy negotiations and legal proceedings.
The Government’s consultationThe Bill was not amended to address land valuation.
What would the Bill change?
The Bill encourages faster, more collaborative negotiations for the installation and maintenance of telecoms equipment on private land. The GovernmentThis would allow rapid rollout digital infrastructure such gigabit broadband or 5G.
These are the changes that would be made to the Bill:
The majority of these changes were not well received by telecom operators and site providers. Most site providers disagreed with the conclusion of telecom operators that these changes were necessary.
The Bill would be applicable to all of the UK.