With less than a week to go, we're all being encouraged to participate in the Government's consultation on changes to the Electronic Communications Code.

With litigation still rife between land owners and operators (more to follow on the latest case on interim code rights in a separate note), and with the Government seeking to rollout 5G networks as quickly as possible, now is the time to put forward your views on three key areas:

  1. Issues relating to negotiations and the operation of completed agreements. These issues include failures to respond to requests from operators; failures to negotiate constructively and collaboratively; failures to comply with the Ofcom Code of Practice and / or the terms of concluded agreements; and the need for faster and cheaper dispute resolution
  2. Rights to upgrade and share. Landowners, occupiers and operators all report that the current law in relation to these rights are not sufficiently clear to achieve their intended purpose; and 
  3. Difficulties specifically relating to the renewal of expired agreements, due to a lack of clarity in the legislation, issues with the notice and procedural requirements, and problems with dispute resolution.

The response to this consultation will set out the Government’s proposals for any legislative reform and, I, for one, am certainly interested in the outcome.