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29th March 2021

Telecoms Operators Given New Rights

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The Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Act 2021 has passed into law to extend rights for telecoms operators under the Electronic Communications Code although further regulations will be required to bring these into effect.

The provisions introduced by the Act will make it easier for telecoms operators to install broadband infrastructure for the benefit of premises occupied in multi-let buildings where the occupier has asked the operator to provide services and the landlord has failed to respond to repeated notices.  

In the absence of response to a final notice, the tribunal can grant interim access to the operator for a maximum of 18 months so that telecoms apparatus can be installed in the building and connected property to extend services to target premises such as a flat within the building.

To extend the code rights granted beyond the interim period, the operator will have to reach an agreement with the landlord and/or other relevant grantor or make a further application to the tribunal under Part 4 of the Electronic Communications Code 2017.   

In the first instance the new Act will apply to buildings that contain two or more separate dwellings so is intended to apply to multi-occupied leasehold residential premises. However, there is power for the Secretary of State to extend the scope of the premises to which the rights will apply by regulations so that it may be that the provisions will be extended to non-residential multi-let buildings. 

The Act is the latest clear indication of the government’s commitment to making it easier for operators to roll out broadband across the country.

For further advice on any property development matters please contact Kate Church on 01223 461155 or click here to email Kate.