The new Electronic Communications code has been in force for some time now and we are beginning to see some test cases between operators and landlords. The old Telecoms Code was unclear and pretty much untested.
Landlords in our experience have 2 principal concerns with the new Code, the proposed nominal rent to be paid by operators for using roof space and the inability of landlords to get vacant possession for redevelopment. The biggest issue for landlords is the latter.
What is needed is certainty of vacant possession so landlords know they can redevelop their buildings. Otherwise there is no incentive to allow operators on their buildings.
The government has decided that telecoms infrastructure should be treated like any other utility ie as a necessary requirement and rents should reflect that.
The operators need another 50,000 sites to give full 5G coverage over the next 5 years. But why should landlords offer the space for a nominal rent when it will take a minimum of 18 months to recover possession and maybe more . What is needed is a shorter period and more certainty around recovering possession of sites. This will be needed before the roll out can seriously begin so is an urgent priority.
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