Communications Code changes
A consultation on the changes to the Electronic Communications Code is now open until 11:45pm on March 24, 2021.
The code regulates the rights of telecommunications operators to install and maintain their apparatus on public and private land. The code has been an ongoing issue and the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) is urging any members who will be directly affected by the changes to take time to review and respond to the consultation. The code was last examined in 2017 and since then, many new issues have risen including lack of protection for site providers.
The review is occurring to improve access to sites for telecom providers, who claim access has been a barrier to achieving better digital coverage and connectivity across the UK.
The consultation is proposing further reforms to facilitate telecoms providers in securing sites - through improving access to land, changing terms of agreement and even the opportunity for retrospective changes to existing lease agreements.
All current and future site providers will be impacted by these proposals. It is imperative that landowners use this opportunity make the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport aware of their experience with operators and the new code.
The UFU will be responding to the consultation and urge all affected landowners to also respond individually, either through using the online consultation document (https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-changes-to-the-electronic-communications-code) or writing a letter and sending it via email or post ([email protected] / Electronic Communications Code Reforms Consultation, Digital Infrastructure Directorate, Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, 100 Parliament Street, London, SW1A 2BQ).
If any help is needed regarding their consultation response, they should contact UFU headquarters.