The telecommunications industry is highly regulated and ever-changing. This brings with it both opportunities and challenges.

Arrangements between the different telecoms providers can be hugely complex and require legal knowledge that’s specialised to this area of law. For example, if you’re a landowner, opting to have telecommunications equipment, such as a mobile phone mast, on your land can be a good way to diversify revenue from your property. Or you might have received a Code Notice from a telecoms operator under the Electronic Communications Code seeking your agreement to have Code Rights put in place. If there is a telecoms installation on your land you might want to renew or terminate an existing agreement and need advice.

 

Protect Your Interests

Telecoms operators want to get their electronic communications networks expanded quickly and might approach you with standard documents for an agreement to have an installation on your land.

Benefits to the telecoms network at large often outweigh any prejudice to the landowner

To protect your interests, it’s vital you consult legal experts who understand the specific details of your site and the telecoms industry inside out before entering into any agreement.

BTMK is listed as a leading firm in the Legal 500 directory and if you need legal advice, our experts can act on your behalf when negotiating terms with the telecoms providers, helping you maximise your rent potential or challenging and unfair terms, including commercial contract litigation.

 

Our Experts Can Help

 

Electronic Communications Code

The Electronic Communications Code is set out in Schedule 3A of the Communications Act 2003. It’s designed to clarify the rights and responsibilities of landowners and telecoms providers when it comes to the installation and maintenance of electronic communications networks. It allows operators to:

(a) to install electronic communications apparatus on, under or over the land,

(b) to keep installed electronic communications apparatus which is on, under or over the land,

(c) to inspect, maintain, adjust, alter, repair, upgrade or operate electronic communications apparatus which is on, under or over the land,

(d) to carry out any works on the land for or in connection with the installation of electronic communications apparatus on, under or over the land or elsewhere,

(e) to carry out any works on the land for or in connection with the maintenance, adjustment, alteration, repair, upgrading or operation of electronic communications apparatus which is on, under or over the land or elsewhere,

(f) to enter the land to inspect, maintain, adjust, alter, repair, upgrade or operate any electronic communications apparatus which is on, under or over the land or elsewhere,

(g) to connect to a power supply,

(h) to interfere with or obstruct a means of access to or from the land (whether or not any electronic communications apparatus is on, under or over the land), or

(i) to lop or cut back, or require another person to lop or cut back, any tree or other vegetation that interferes or will or may interfere with electronic communications apparatus.

Section 106, SCHEDULE 3A – The Electronic Communications Code

 

Under the Code, where public benefit is considered greater than a landowner’s position, a telecoms company can install apparatus without consent. The landowner should still be compensated, however.

Code rights can significantly impact the use and value of land, both for the current landowner and any future landowners.

It is vital that you seek expert advice on any regulatory issues before any installation arrangements are agreed.

 

Maximising Your Rental Value

The type of equipment and the number of users on a mast determines the rent, but if you own land you might find the operators’ rent suggestions are very different. Operators want to roll out network expansions quickly. It’s not uncommon for operators to use standard and basic forms when approaching landowners.

If you’re a large commercial property owner with multiple mast sites, we can help your infrastructure administrators achieve and then manage the best income from any telecoms operators who are occupying your sites.

We’ll help you by negotiating contracts and leases to achieve a rental value that’s the best it can be and protects you and your land, arranging for input from any other professionals, such as specialist telecoms surveyors, where required.

We’ll challenge any unfair contract terms and conditions and manage any litigation should you require a decision from a court.

 

Code Notices

A telecoms provider might want your agreement to have Code rights conferred on your land or   you might want to end an existing agreement for development reasons. At BTMK, we can act on your behalf to review the contracts and negotiate the best terms.

We can help with regulatory advice and help you defend applications, should this be required. If you require an Order for Removal of any telecoms apparatus, (known as a ‘lift and shift’), we can help you negotiate an appropriate agreement with the operator.

And we can negotiate wayleaves on behalf of landlords and tenants, so fixed line broadband services can be installed into your property whilst protecting your commercial or domestic interests.

 

Specialist Telecoms Law Services at BTMK

Our specialist telecoms lawyers have the experience and knowledge to help you deal with the challenges that come with modern technology infrastructure requirements and how they can affect you.

The team at BTMK are here to help you, whether it’s to help you maximise rental values, negotiate contracts or challenge unfair contract terms. We can help uncover your opportunities.

Lee Emptage

Corporate & Commercial / Commercial Property | BTMK Todmans

Ian Powell

Corporate & Commercial, Commercial Property | BTMK Solicitors

Alan Simpson

Residential Property & Conveyancing, Commercial Property | BTMK Alan Simpson

Diellza Gashi

BTMK Solicitors

Gethan Burgess

Corporate & Commercial, Commercial Property | BTMK Solicitors

Sonia Elmer-Soman

Corporate & Commercial / Commercial Property | BTMK Todmans

Umut Tarhan

Corporate & Commercial / Commercial Property | BTMK Todmans

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