The most common forms of agreement in the provision of digital communications are paths and leases. Of these model agreements, only the Digital Infrastructure Toolkit and accompanying documents were developed by the central government. The others are not approved by the central government, but they can be useful starting points depending on the context and nature of the proposed agreement. An access agreement that has been drawn up for the granting of rights for the use of central government websites. This toolkit could also be useful for solutions for local authorities. When a communications network provider must use another party`s land to install, operate or maintain a digital communications network or infrastructure system, it must obtain the consent of the other party to do so. The crucial point is that the asset to be assessed is “the agreement of the person concerned to confer the right to the code or be bound by the law of the code (as the case may be) “, specifying that the definition explicitly refers to the availability of both parties. The new code will have a significant impact on the relationship between landowners and “operators” (licensed electronic communications service providers) and telecommunications equipment agreements on land or buildings across the UK. The new code is therefore relevant to educational institutions and we have already seen examples showing that operators are proactively using the new code rights to access discounts to assess their suitability for new facilities. Local authorities are free to accept the termination of an existing 1954 LTA lease and to enter into a new code agreement by mutual agreement. In this regard, site operators should take into account the broader definition of the best value principle described above, which takes into account total value, including social value. In order for a network operator to successfully link a home, business or school to the telecommunications infrastructure, it must have the right to do so by an owner by signing an access contract.
Access agreements can take different forms, often depending on the right sought. The new code requires greater formality for all agreements between landowners and operators. Any agreement must now be signed in writing and on behalf of the owner/occupier and the operator and indicate its duration and possible notice. I hope that this will result in fewer “unintentional” agreements between landowners and occupiers, with long-term effects and broader and more sustainable rights than the landowner or occupant expects. In the case of 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that “code rights” included preparations such as conducting site investigations and that, in order to obtain intermediate rights, the operator only had to prove that it had a “good litigation” to apply for permanent rights. Intermediate rights (for a specified period or until the appearance of a particular event) may be applied independently and should not be precursors to permanent rights. Code rights can be acquired by agreement between the parties or, in the case of an agreement, by court order. Agreements that give communications network operators access rights to private and public land and buildings for the installation and maintenance of networks are governed by the code of electronic communications (code). For more information, please visit the legislation and regulations section.
This guide sets out the principles of good practice that DCMS should recommend to local authorities when granting communication network operators access rights to their land and assets, in order to ensure consistency with the legal framework and government policy.