The Government has announced that the new Electronic Communications Code will come into force on Thursday 28 December 2017. The new Code marks a step change in the way relationships between site providers and operators are governed. Existing agreements will continue to be governed by the existing Code and the transitional arrangements. All new Code agreements from 28 December will be governed by the new regulations. The main changes of note are as follows:
- The Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 will not apply to new Code agreements.
- The valuation of Code rights has been fundamentally changed to a “no scheme value”. This means that the operator is not a special purchaser and, therefore, ends up (generally) paying less for the rights than it does under the current Code.
- Termination and removal rights have been rewritten.
- Operators will be granted unfettered rights of assigning, sharing and upgrading apparatus
- Contracting out of new Code rights will not be permitted.