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New powers for Telecoms Companies

Tue 5 July 2016

The Digital Economy Bill was announced in the Queen’s Speech in May 2016; the Bill covers a number of issues relating to telecommunications including the Electronic Communications Code Reform.

Although this may not sound particularly exciting, it could have a large impact on owners/occupiers with digital infrastructure on their land, such as mobile phone masts or broadband cabling. The government is proposing to encourage investment by telecoms companies by making it easier for them to install their masts, cables and other infrastructure on private land by increasing their compulsory purchase powers and reducing the amount of compensation/rent payable. 

The proposals regarding payments include a ‘no scheme world’ where the consideration paid to the owners/occupiers is based on the value to the landowner rather than the value to the telecoms companies, we are told that this is likely to lead to an average reduction of 40%. In addition the Reform proposes to allow telecoms companies to upgrade or share their apparatus without permission from or further payment to the landowner.
The Reform, in the first instance, will only apply to new agreements set up after the Reform is implemented, therefore it is important to renew or finalise leases before such time, where possible. 

For further advice or an informal discussion please telephone 01392 439046 / or email professional@stags.co.uk for contact details of the nearest Stags Professional Services Department.

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