The Electronic Communications Code and Property Law : Practice and Procedure book cover
1st Edition

The Electronic Communications Code and Property Law
Practice and Procedure

ISBN 9781138543126
Published October 25, 2018 by Routledge
924 Pages

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Book Description

Life now without access to electronic telecommunications would be regarded as highly unsatisfactory by most of the UK population. Such ready access would not have been achieved without methodical and ultimately enforceable means of access to the land on which to install the infrastructure necessary to support the development of an electronic communications network. Successive governments have made such access a priority, regarding it as a principle that no person should unreasonably be denied access to an electronic communications network or electronic communications services. The enactment of the Telecommunications Act 1984 and its revision by the Communications Act in 2003 have played their role in the provision of an extensive electronic infrastructure in the UK, while their reshaping by means of the Digital Economy Act 2017 will continue that process. Throughout that process, a little publicised series of struggles has taken place between telecommunications operators and landowners, as they seek to interpret the Electronic Communications Code by which their rights and obligations have been regulated.

This book describes the problems that accompanied the Old Code (which will continue to regulate existing installations and agreements); and the intended solutions under the New Code. The eminent team of authors explain the background, provisions and operation of the old code and the new one, providing practical and jargon-free guidance throughout. It is sure to become the reference on this topic and is intended as a guide for telecommunications operators, land owners, and of course for their advisers in the legal and surveying professions.

All members of Falcon Chambers, comprising nine Queen’s Counsel and 30 junior barristers, specialise in property law and allied topics, including the various incarnations of the Electronic Communications Code. Members of Falcon Chambers, including all the authors of this new work, have for many years lectured and written widely on the code, and have appeared (acting for both operators and landowners) in many of the few reported cases on the subject of the interface between property law and the code, including for example: Geo Networks Ltd v The Bridgewater Canal Co. Ltd (2010); Geo Networks Ltd v The Bridgewater Canal Co. Ltd (2011); Crest Nicholson (Operations) Ltd v Arqiva Services Ltd (2015); Brophy v Vodafone Ltd (2017).

Table of Contents






Legislative history


The Electronic Communications Code 2003: an overview


The European dimension



Electronic Communications Code 2003 (the Old Code)


Old Code: general and special regime overview


Operators under the Old Code


Old Code general regime


Old Code general regime: financial provisions


Old Code special regimes


Alteration and removal of apparatus under paragraph 20


Removal of apparatus under paragraph 21


Abandonment of apparatus


Old Code sundry matters



Electronic Communications Code 2017 (the New Code)


The Electronic Communications Code and property law: key concepts


What are code rights?


Who may confer code rights?


To whom may code rights be granted?


Over what may code rights be granted?


The agreement conferring code rights


Assignment, upgrading and sharing apparatus


Imposition of code agreements


Termination of code agreements


Modification of code agreements


Rights to require removal


The New Code and the 1954 Act


Transport land rights


Street works, tidal water rights and undertaker’s works


Overhead apparatus


Trees and vegetation


Consideration and compensation under the New Code



Matters common to both codes


Transitional provisions


Notices under the codes


Dispute resolution procedure under the codes


Code avoidance


Electronic communications and planning


Compulsory purchase and entry for exploratory purposes


Telecommunications and non-domestic rates


Land registration


Electronic communications and competition law


The position in Scotland


The role of OFCOM





Drafting considerations for code agreements



The New Code – Annotated






Extracts from the Telecommunications Act 1984 and the Communications Act 2003


2017 Code and extracts from the Digital Economy Act 2017


Statutory Instruments


OFCOM Code of Practice


OFCOM Template Notices


OFCOM Standard Terms

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From Falcon Chambers, London, UK:

Guy Fetherstonhaugh QC

Jonathan Karas QC

Wayne Clark

Barry Denyer-Green

Stephanie Tozer

Oliver Radley-Gardner

Toby Boncey

With distinguished contributions from Gareth Hale, Partner, Dentons UK and Middle East LLP, and from Luke Maidens, Shulmans LLP.