Telecoms Infrastructure Leasehold Property Bill

Dear Colleague,

 

The Prime Minister and this Government have made clear our ambitious commitment to nationwide roll-out of gigabit-capable broadband.

 

Fast, reliable, secure and resilient networks will enable the UK’s future economic growth - innovating our public services, turbocharging our economy and helping the development of new consumer services. Our investment in broadband infrastructure is vital: to boost growth, make more areas across the UK attractive places to live and work, as well as to rejuvenate our rural communities that have, historically, been left behind.

 

Deployment is already underway, with 2.4 million homes and businesses able to connect to gigabit-capable broadband. Continuing this work and delivering gigabit connections nationwide will be one of the largest infrastructure projects in a generation and will require collaboration by central and local government and digital network providers (operators) to create conditions, which promote fast and efficient fibre deployments

 

Yesterday, the Government introduced the Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill into the House of Commons.

 

This Bill enables residents who live in flats and apartment blocks to receive gigabit-capable connections where their landlord repeatedly fails to respond to requests for access from operators to install their infrastructure, leaving them with no way for their broadband service to be connected.

 

This legislation will amend the Electronic Communications Code (which acts as a framework to manage the relationship between operators and landowners) to create what we hope will be a faster, cheaper route to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) (and its equivalent in devolved administrations) for operators to gain interim access rights. 

 

The law will provide for related safeguards for landlords.  For example, we intend to set out a clear process that operators will need to follow before being able to apply for access rights, in order to demonstrate their repeated attempts at engagement with a landlord.  The law will also provide that, once such rights are ordered by the Tribunal (or equivalent in devolved administrations), landlords will be able to challenge the making of that order.

 

I will be holding a briefing session on the Bill on Monday 21 October at 16:00 - 17:00, which I hope you can attend.  Details of the location will be announced in due course.  In the meantime, please do contact my officials at minister.digitalandbroadband@culture.gov.uk if you have any questions or would like any more information on the Bill.

 

Annexed to this letter are further details of what our Government has delivered on broadband.

 

Matt Warman MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Digital and Broadband