The new Electronic Communications Code (“the New Code”) was brought into force on 28 December 2017 by Part 2 of the Digital Economy Act 2017. The New Code replaces the previous code as set out in the Telecommunications Act 1984 and shifts the balance of power from landowners in favour of operators.
This is in keeping with the Government's aim to connect 95% of the UK with superfast broadband by 2020. The New Code seeks to achieve this by making it much easier for operators to gain access to the locations they need thereby improving nationwide coverage.
This means it will be harder for landowners to seek vacant possession of their premises/land from operators. It also means that it will be easier for operators to renew existing agreements. It is therefore important for landowners to seek advice on how the New Code may affect them at the earliest opportunity.