This document contains the following information: Law Commission: The Electronic Communications Code.
In this report the Law Commission makes recommendations to form the basis of a revised Electronic Communications Code. The Code was enacted in 1984 to regulate landline telephone provision.
It sets out the regime that governs the rights of designated electronic communications operators to maintain infrastructure on public and private land. In modern times, it applies to the infrastructure forming networks which support broadband, mobile internet and telephone, cable television and landlines.
This project focuses on private property rights between landowners and electronic communications providers; it does not consider planning. The current Code has been criticised by courts and the people who work with it as out of date, unclear and inconsistent with other legislation.
The reforms would: provide a clearer definition of the market value that landowners can charge for the use of their land, giving them greater confidence in negotiating and giving providers a better idea of what their network is likely to cost; clarify the conditions under which a landowner can be ordered to give a designated network provider access to his or her land, bringing more certainty to both landowners and providers and helping them to reach agreements more easily; resolve the inconsistencies between the current Code and other legislation; clarify the rights of landowners to remove network equipment from land; specify limited rights for operators to upgrade and share their network equipment; and improve the procedure for resolving disputes under the Code. It will be for Government to draft and implement a revised Code.
Related publications and all Law Commission reports, consultation papers and announcements are available on the Law Commission website.
This paper was laid before Parliament in response to a legislative requirement or as a Return to an Address and was ordered to be printed by the House of Commons.