Access to public sector assets

This section presents an overview of considerations around providing access to public sector assets.

The inability to secure suitable sites for electronic communications equipment is one of the biggest barriers to network deployment. Network providers require different kinds of sites for different kinds of network deployment, such as ducts for fibre, rooftops of tall buildings for macro cell sites and street furniture for small cell sites. They may also require rights to cross land in order to reach a site or to install fibre networks.

Local authorities may wish to facilitate network deployment by making their assets and land available to network providers. Both local authorities and network providers can benefit from the use of local authority assets in this way.

Local authorities may wish to use their assets to help to deliver the digital infrastructure strategy. Network providers can use public sectors assets to minimise the time and cost required for the deployment of fibre and mobile infrastructure, including small cells for 5G.

This guidance provides advice for local authorities on:

  • taking proactive action to engage effectively with the digital communications industry
  • access agreements
  • different commercial models that local authorities may wish to consider when making their buildings, assets and land available to network providers

Mapping public sector assets

Local authorities are encouraged to identify suitable assets and infrastructure that they own that could be made available to support the installation of fibre and mobile networks.

Commercial models

This section describes the different models that can be used by local authorities when granting network providers access to their sites. These include the open model, the concession model, outsourcing street furniture and public-private partnerships.


A practical flowchart, developed in cooperation with local authorities and network providers, outlining the stages of a process to grant access and the suggested steps to take.

Access agreements

This section presents an overview of access agreements, their place in the context of the Electronic Communications Code and links to several standardised agreements developed for various situations.

Homepage: Digital Connectivity Portal

Published 20 December 2018