Having been waiting in the wings for many months, the new Electronic Communications Code eventually became law on the 28 December 2017. The Code was introduced to replace the existing Telecoms Code which had been labelled as one of the least coherent pieces of legislation on the Statute Book by a high ranking Judge.
The new Code gives Telecom operators greater powers, that could be to the detriment of some land owners, and Brooks Leney are urging any property owners with either existing Telecoms leases or potential new Telecoms leases to give careful consideration to the implication of this new Telecommunications Code on them and their property.
Being only a few weeks old, the new Code is still in its infancy and we have yet to see how the Telecom operators attitude will change given their new powers. There will, no doubt, be extensive discussion on the interpretation of particular rights granted by the Code including assignment, upgrading and sharing and how rents are to be calculated.
As with any new piece of legislation, operators and their agents seem to be taking a firm view on what rights they have, choosing to interpret the legislation in a way that is to their benefit. At Brooks Leney we are challenging all of these points, and reminding the operators of the exact wording of the Code and the extent of their rights. There is no doubt that this new Code will see more disputes and will make the negotiation of new leases more challenging and therefore it is more important than ever for land owners to take professional advice if they are approached by Telecom operators for new leases, or to discuss lease renewal terms.
For further information or for advice on a telecoms related matter, please contact Chris Leney.