A new Code for telecommunications apparatus came into force at the end of 2017. The code will apply to mobile phone masts but also any wire, cable, tube, pipe or similar thing, used in connection with the provision of electronic communications. The new Code is a Government attempt to make the roll out of mobile and broadband networks easier. Whether that proves to be the case, given the practical implications of the Code referred to below, remains to be seen.
There are some important changes brought into effect by the new Code:
Significantly, parties to telecommunications agreements cannot opt out of the Code. It will apply irrespective of what the parties stipulate in any relevant agreement.
As with the previous regime, telecommunications operators will be entitled to keep their own equipment in place after the expiry of any written agreement.
A Code of Practice is to be produced by Ofcom which it is hoped will provide a framework which balances the interest of landowners and telecommunications operators.
The Code makes it clear that the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 will not apply to new leases of telecommunications apparatus and that clarity is to be welcomed. In a number of other respects, however, any landowners contemplating allowing telecommunications operators to install apparatus to which the Code applies will be advised to carefully consider the implications of doing so.
If you wish to discuss any of the issues raised in this Blog, please contact me.