Registration and Coffee


09:45 – 09:50

Welcome & Introduction


09:50 – 11:00



Panel Session 1



Working together to build and deliver world class communications infrastructure

Fast, reliable connectivity is the foundation of a modern digital economy and society. The UK is currently witnessing a revolution in its communications infrastructure, with a national upgrade supported by a wide range of operators entering the market on a regional and local basis. Gigabit-capable, full fibre broadband will be available to millions more homes in the coming years, much of it funded by industry.

At the recent General Election, broadband was as an important political issue, with policies ranging from substantial public investment in infrastructure to nationalisation and the provision of free services. The Government has committed to delivering gigabit-capable broadband to all by 2025 with £5 billion to tackle the “hardest to reach” 20% of UK premises and has a programme of measures to make it easier and quicker to rollout broadband and bridge existing barriers.

Delivering on this vision will require considerable action from industry and a coordinated cross-Whitehall strategy to appropriately prioritise rollout. This includes a coherent attitude across Government to reducing barriers such as wayleaves, mandating fibre to new builds and reducing business rates. The Telecoms Infrastructure Bill, which aims to make it easier for a telecoms network operators to gain access to buildings to deploy and maintain infrastructure where a landlord has failed to respond to an operator’s requests for access, is currently being debated by MPs, and we await the publication of a national infrastructure strategy for further insight into the Government’s overarching plans.

This panel will look at the progress made so far, and assess the landscape looking forward to discern how far we can be considered ‘on track’ to deliver on ambitious national targets, whether industry has the support it needs and what else is required to get us there.

·        Kim Mears OBE, MD Strategic Infrastructure Development, Openreach

·        Felicity Burch, Director of Digital and Innovation policy, CBI 

·        James Heath, Director, Infrastructure Director, DCMS

·        Cormac Whelan, CEO, UK&I, Nokia

·        Andrew Glover, Chair, ISPA

·        Chair: Parliamentarian

11:10 - 11:30




 Matt Warman MP, Minister for Digital Infrastructure

11:30 – 11:50

Coffee break


11:50 – 12:10



Dr Kieron O’Hara, University of Southampton, ‘Four Internets’


12:10 - 13:20






Panel Session 2






Regulating the digital world of the future

Meeting the challenges presented by online harms has been an important area for policymakers and the public ever since the wider public adoption of Internet services. This has led to a range of regulatory, legal and voluntary measures to address a wide array of harms, both harmful and illegal. Following debate about the effectiveness of the current approach in an age of social media, the Government recently set out its approach through its response to the Online Harms White Paper. In addition, Lord McNally, the panel chair, has tabled his own Private Member’s Bill to maintain momentum, which includes a wider range of harms such as economic harms and intellectual property. While the Centre for Data Ethics & Innovation has published recommendations on targeting via social media.

Upcoming Online Harms legislation will see a statutory ‘duty of care’, placing an onus on Internet companies of various kinds to take more responsibility for how content on their platforms is managed. This will be backed up by a regulator - likely to be Ofcom - with enforcement powers to ensure compliance. Navigating these issues and establishing an effective enforcement framework, whilst maintaining an environment conducive to innovation and freedom of expression, presents a significant challenge to policy makers the world over.

As Government takes forward its online harms policy, this panel will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the proposed approach and the role of industry in making the Internet a safer place. This includes where liability should lie, what enforcement measures should be at the disposal of regulators and how to ensure that appropriate mechanisms exist to challenge decisions about content.

·        Lord McNally (Chair)

·        Adam Kinsley, Director of Policy, Sky

·        Vinous Ali, Associate Director of Policy, techUK

·        Richard Wronka, Director, Policy & Strategy, Ofcom

·        Jenny Aifa, Partner, Schillings

·        Ben Lyons, Centre for Data Ethics & Innovation


13.20– 14:20


Networking Lunch


Buffet style, served in the Attlee Suite

14:20 – 14:40





Steve Wood, Deputy Commissioner, Policy, ICO



14:40 – 15:50




Panel Session 3



 Securing networks and adapting to emerging cyber threats

The significant benefits that the Internet and digital innovation can deliver can only be realised if users are able to rely on the security of networks. Industry has long prioritised cyber security, but as cyber threats continue to develop and evolve, we have seen a more active and interventionist approach from policymakers to meet the rising threat.

The cyber security policy and regulatory landscape has matured in recent years through the Network Information Security Regulations and GDPR, backed up by a national strategy and a focus on areas like skills, increased awareness and the development of the cybersecurity industry itself. Further Government action is anticipated through the establishment of additional requirements for telecoms providers, striking a balance between incentives and regulation, and the new Government will be looking at how cyber fits into future defence and security capabilities, as we wait for the next National Cyber Security Strategy in 2021.

While cyber security has risen up policymakers’ agenda in recent years, some of the policy debates of the big issues remain in their infancy: from managing security risks in our infrastructure to the use encryption, the role of individuals in protecting themselves and integrating cyber further into defence. This panel will discuss where cyber security will suit early on in this new Parliament as threats continue to evolve.

·        Ruth Edwards MP (Chair)

·        Nick Davies, Head of Command and Control, Space and Intelligence, Raytheon

·        Sneha Dawda, Research Analyst, Cyber Threats and Cyber Security, Royal United Services Institute

·        Nihal Newman, Director, Cyber Security Programme, Ofcom

·        Les Anderson, Director of Protect BT

·        Naomi Gilbert, Head of Cyber Security Incentives & Regulation, DCMS

15:50 - 16:00

Closing Remarks


16:00 – 17:00

Drinks Reception