DCMS consultation on changes to the Electronic Communications CodeGulistan Ladha
DCMS has published a consultation on changes to the Electronic Communications Code (ECC) which is the legal framework underpinning agreements between landowners and communications operators in the UK. The Code was substantially reformed in 2017 to make it easier and faster for apparatus to be deployed, maintained, shared and upgraded in rural areas, balancing the need for digital infrastructure with the rights of landowners and other site providers.
The purpose of this consultation is to understand whether changes to the ECC are needed to encourage faster and more collaborative negotiations between landowners and telecoms providers. It also examines whether there are ways that the use of existing infrastructure can be improved. The consultation proposes reviewing automatic rights which can be used when a mast needs upgrading from 4G to 5G or shared among operators to remove coverage blackspots. Views are also being sought on whether greater certainty is needed for operators and landowners about what will happen when their land agreements come to an end and how they can be renewed.
The deadline to submit responses is 24 March 2021.