The Northern Ireland Barrier Busting Taskforce
The NIBBT first met on 13 December 2022 and is comprised of an oversight group and three subgroups which have been tasked with delivering outstanding MAP NI actions and deal with specific barrier busting themes, namely:
- publicly owned assets.
As detailed in Action 7 of the Mobile Action Plan for Northern Ireland, the aim and mission statement of the NIBBT is to ‘identify and address the barriers preventing the fast and efficient deployment of mobile connectivity in Northern Ireland’.
The terms of reference for the NIBBT achieved sign-off in July 2023 and the NIBBT Oversight Group includes members from the:
- Department for Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs (DAERA)
- Department for the Economy (DfE)
- Department of Education (DE)
- Department of Finance (DoF)
- Department for Infrastructure (DfI)
- Department for Science, Innovation & Technology (DSIT)
- Full Fibre NI (FFNI) Consortium
- Mobile UK
- NI local government heads of planning
- Office of Communications (Ofcom) as an observer
The NIBBT Communications Subgroup’s aim is to increase awareness of the benefits, advantages and opportunities presented by mobile technologies and also address information needs relating to any perceived risks to help make Northern Ireland a hospitable and welcoming environment for investors. This subgroup is chaired by the Department for the Economy.
The NIBBT Planning Subgroup’s aim is to ensure that the legislative and planning policy framework is in place to support delivery of telecommunication equipment and that, where it is necessary to make an application for planning permission, processes are transparent and there is awareness and expertise within councils to determine applications expediently. The subgroup also aims to promote good practice in the preparation of and submission of planning applications to ensure they result in good development and that they are able to be determined in a timely manner. This subgroup is chaired by NI local government.
Publicly owned assets subgroup
The NIBBT Publicly Owned Assets Subgroup’s aim is to investigate the viability of making available publicly owned assets for hosting mobile infrastructure. This subgroup is chaired by the Department of Finance.