Digital Economy Act 2017 – Electronic Communications Code

The Digital Economy Act 2017 received Royal Assent on 27 April 2017.  It was pushed through the “wash up” session, before the dissolution of parliament prior to the election.

This brings the implementation of the new Electronic Communications Code one step closer.  Landowners should take note if they are currently negotiating with telecoms operators for the installation of electronic communications equipment on their land, or are considering doing so in the near future.  We are not quite there yet – the new Code will require implementation, and Ofcom is currently consulting on its new obligations under the new Code.  However, the granting of Royal Assent to the Act is sure to impact on current negotiations.

The changes from the existing Code will include potentially reduced rental valuations, automatic rights to site sharing for operators, and reduced control over assignment of telecoms agreements.  Accordingly, landowners need to be aware of what they are signing up to when entering into new agreements.  See here for a link to Ofcom’s current consultation on their new code of practice, and potential standard documents and notices under the new Code:

Consultation closes on 2 June 2017.

John McLean has been acting for landowners for 10 years in relation to agreements under the existing Electronic Communications Code.  Please give him a call on 0121 2273360 if you wish to discuss the implications of the new Code, or any other issues in this area, and he will be happy to assist.

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