The results are in – telecoms professionals have their say!

Trenches Law News   •   February 1st 2021

The past 12 months have been – to put it mildly – different. Regardless of sector or business type, hurdles have been faced and many challenges overcome. And, in addition, the telecoms sector has also been put under great pressure to maintain connectivity for people during the ongoing pandemic.

That’s why we wanted to continue our ongoing conversations with decision makers within the telecoms sector – to get a glimpse into their views on both difficulties they have experienced and opportunities in 2021. As we head towards something of a ‘gigabit future’, what do they believe are the hurdles to overcome beyond the pandemic, and what do they truly think about wayleaves and automated processes?

Below is a snapshot of the results from a survey we recently held to get an all-over sector view. Here’s what you had to say…

Pandemic remains a key concern for telecoms professionals

When asked what the three biggest issues keeping telecoms leaders up at night were, the clear front runners were ‘Covid-19’ and ‘economic uncertainty’ – both topping the list with 63.2%. The next most popular answer, chosen by over half of those quizzed – at 52.6% – was ‘red tape.’

When it comes to recruiting skilled telecoms people, again the results were definitive. All respondents said that bringing in high calibre employees was either ‘quite difficult’ (78.9%) or ‘very difficult’ (21.1%). The fact that not one person described the recruitment of these professionals as easy, suggests that more needs to be done, in order to transform the way in which we tackle the industry’s talent gap.

Wayleaves are still misunderstood

Looking at the wayleave process, we asked how people would describe this. The main answers were ‘outdated’– with more than a third (36.8%) of the votes – followed by ‘complicated’ (26.3%) and ‘lengthy’ (15.8%).

The nature of the antiquated process is one of the main reasons we launched our automated system back in September 2020. By overhauling the lengthy practice, we have ensured that tens of thousands more wayleaves per week are now being completed!

But is automation merely a buzzword? Just 21.1% said that it was, with over three-quarters 78.9% of our survey participants believing that it played more of a crucial role than simply being an overused phrase – and we have to agree!

And the reason automation in our sector remains low? Over half of those questioned felt this was because the benefits are still misunderstood, with the second most common response revolving around its ‘complexity.’

The biggest perceived benefit, at 68.4%, was ‘efficiency’. For further information on other advantages of our new automated system, take a look at our ‘Book of Wayleave’.

The future for our sector

In light of the Government’s proposed plans for a full fibre and gigabit digital network in Britain by 2025, the majority of respondents were uncertain whether they agreed with the statement that this was achievable (36.8%), with only 5.3% strongly agreeing that it was possible.

The fact that 42.1% of those surveyed felt that the one thing that the Government could do better for the industry was ‘clearer and more helpful legislation’, shows that this lack of clarity isn’t building trust in the industry.

When questioned on the most exciting thing to look forward to in telecoms for 2021, the most popular answer, with almost 50% of the votes, was ‘a more connected future’.

As technology advancements continue – despite the troubled waters that the pandemic has brought along for many organisations – there are huge opportunities for our industry to utilise their powerful voice and to ensure that we all look forward to a more connected Britain.

Thanks to everyone who took part in our survey – it has certainly given us a view of the issues and opportunities our sector is facing, and it was great to see some real positivity, particularly on one of our favourite topics – automation!