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The Product Security and Telecommunications Bill (“the Bill”) was introduced to the Houses of Parliament in early 2022 in response to the consultation on the Electronic Communications Code 2017 (“the Code”), which was commissioned in January 2021.
The government highlighted three main areas it sought to improve under the Code through the Bill:
Throughout its consultation with industry stakeholders, the government found that progressing negotiations for code operators to exercise their rights through consensual agreements – called ‘code agreements’ – often came with undue delay.
It is intended that legislative changes introduced through the Bill will help speed up the roll out of faster and more reliable broadband and mobile networks by making it easier for operators to upgrade and share infrastructure.
The effects of the Bill for Code Operators and Landowners include:
The Bill is now in its final stages as it progresses through the House of Lords.
This Bill has been welcomed by code operators as the government moves to streamline their roll out of high speed broadband throughout the U.K.
The new rights granted to code operators in this Bill aim to limit any delay in negotiations of code agreements and any undue costs associated with this.
As of 1st November 2022, the House of Commons has rejected the latest House of Lords amendments to the Bill. It is unclear when the Bill is likely to be passed in both the House of Commons and House of Lords to receive Royal Assent.
This article has been produced for general information purposes and further advice should be sought from a professional advisor.
For further information on any of the issues raised in this article, please contact Shane Conlan.
This article was co-authored by Trainee Solicitor, Peter Longwell.