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Consultation On Changes To The Electronic Communications Code

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

The government is consulting on whether to introduce changes to the Electronic Communications Code.

The government believes that certain areas of the Code, which governs the building of phone masts and digital infrastructure, are not operating in the way that was originally intended. The consultation does not set out detailed proposals for change but is seeking views that will inform decisions on the scale and scope of any alterations to the Code.

The areas of particular concern are:

  • Issues relating to obtaining and using Code agreements. The proposals are intended to support faster and more collaborative negotiations, help ensure best practice guidance is adhered to, provide efficient ways for disagreements to be dealt with, address failures to respond to requests for Code rights and ensure that completed agreements can operate effectively.
  • Rights to upgrade and share. The government proposes to review when the automatic rights to upgrade and share should be available and how they might be clarified. The proposals also look to clarify the position where the conditions for the automatic rights to upgrade and share are not met and to consider the benefits of introducing limited retrospective rights to share where equipment was installed before December 2017.
  • Difficulties relating to the renewal of expired agreements, where there is a need for greater certainty about what happens when an agreement comes to an end and greater consistency in the way that disagreements about the renewal of Code rights are dealt with.

Matt Warman, Minister for Digital Infrastructure, in his introduction to the consultation document, says: “The government is committed to ensuring that the Code is fit for purpose in order to deliver our digital connectivity targets. The potential economic and social benefits of fast and reliable connectivity can only be realised if we have confidence in the effectiveness of the underpinning legislation. I look forward to receiving your views on our proposals and the questions we have set out which will help inform any decisions we make about further changes to the Code.”

The consultation closes at 11.45 pm on 24 March 2021.

More details here

Ika Částka

Posted:

Ika Částka

Partner

Ika is Head of the Commercial Property team and has been advising individuals and businesses across Northamptonshire since 1986, specialising in commercial, agricultural and rural property matters for both businesses and individuals.