Communication on Code Consultation - DAC Beachcroft

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Communication on Code Consultation

Published On: 27 April 2015

The telecommunications code (the "Code") was introduced in 1984 to regulate the relationship between electronic communications network operators and site providers (typically commercial property owners). Over the course of the intervening 30 years the once fledgling mobile communications industry has changed and grown beyond all recognition.

To address this fact, the government has decided that the Code is no longer fit for purpose, and has launched a consultation paper to canvass the views of both operators and site providers on various proposed amendments to the Code. The consultation period is due to close on 30 April 2015, and so time is running out for interested parties to have their say.

The main proposals for changes to the Code are:

  1. A statutory mechanism for determining the market value of the consideration to be paid by the communications operator to the site owner;
  2. Automatic rights for the communications operator to access sites for the purpose of site sharing and upgrading equipment without consent where there is no additional burden placed on the site owner;
  3. Retention of the existing prohibition on parties contracting out of the Code;
  4. Treating any unregisterable property interest as overriding interests for the purposes of land registration, rather than making all such interests subject to compulsory registration.

The changes proposed are likely to have far reaching implications for the ongoing relationship between operators and site owners. To have your say, follow this link.