Mobile Phone Operators - Gift Horse or Trojan Horse? Part 1

The Government has just published its proposals and a draft Bill for a new Electronic Communications Code, this being the legislation upon which land owners and the mobile phone operators (“Operators”) base their leases. The changes to the Code will have a massive impact upon you if you already have an Operator on your land. Even if you do not, and you lease out your land, your tenant could grant the Operator rights that would bind the owner and their successors.

Whilst the proposed changes are designed to assist the rollout of new rural broadband and mobile phone sites, they will have a massive impact upon existing site providers. They include granting the Operators full access, sublet, sharing and assignment rights with other Code Operators (there are approx. 100 of them), but with no right for the landlord to receive any additional rent. Rents are to be cut with a valuation regime reflecting utility company wayleaves.

The proposals allow Operators to alter the land for its own purpose, and aligns compensation for the loss of ability to develop land with compulsory purchase laws. This finally confirms that allowing a Code systems operator on to your land, would devalue it.

Further changes are proposed that will make it even longer to remove a Code Operator and restrict the grounds for removal.

If you have a lease that is up for renewal, we recommend that you seek professional advice immediately. For more information please contact Hubs professional telecoms team who, with over 35 years’ experience between them and who specialise in representing blue light clients amongst others, can assist you in protecting your estates, operations and assets

Drop us an email on and we will be able to assist you with any queries.