A consultation has been launched by the British government on draft regulations that would allow business rates relief on new fibre deployments from 1 April 2017. With the state saying it aims to ‘create an attractive environment for private sector providers to increase their rollout of fibre connectivity’, it introduced specific legislation – the Telecommunication Infrastructure (Relief from Non-Domestic Rates) Bill – earlier this year to provide the authorities with the powers necessary to implement the tax relief.
Through these powers the government now seeks to make regulations which will deliver the relief to those operators that install new fibre on their networks, with such companies eligible for a 100% reduction in business rates for the five years from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2022. According to the consultation document published by the Department for Communities and Local Government, the legislative measure will ‘support all providers who deploy new fibre increasing competition and [help] the rollout of 5G’.
Specifically, the government has said the consultation – which will run for twelve weeks from 29 August 2017 – is seeking views on how the draft regulations implement the tax relief, though it has noted that it is not consulting on matters such as who should be eligible for the relief, when the relief should apply, or how long the relief applies for.