Agricultural Brief - Did you know? Telecoms


08 June 2020

Working on behalf of local authorities, farmers and private developers, the Telecoms team have considerable knowledge in telecommunications regulation, including access, licensing and unfair commercial practices.

How long have you been dealing with Telecoms matters?

I have been dealing with telecoms works for over 15 years and have advised on hundreds of telecom leases all across the country. We offer a cradle to grave service and so deal with leases at the point of first installation through to their eventual removal.

Do you act for Operators or Landowners?

You have to pick a side with telecoms and so we act exclusively for landowners; not the operators. We act for local authorities, hospital trusts, universities, schools, farmers  and private developers: all the people and organisations who you would expect to have phone masts and telecoms equipment on their land.

Why is it a complex area of law?

Telecoms is a public utility and we all depend on our mobile phones and computers and expect a good service. However telecoms equipment is protected by statute and there are very specific rules governing the telecoms operator’s rights and the eviction process. In recent years, the operators have been given greater powers which are generally seen as unfair by landowners. The law develops almost on a monthly basis as new test cases emerge.

Tell us about an interesting case you worked on

The joy of the job is in the variety. I advised landowners on masts needed for the extra coverage during the recent royal weddings and have dealt with the eviction of major data centres and masts in the City. No day is the same.

How can you help our farmers and landowners?

Some rents for mobile phone masts have dropped sharply since new rules were introduced a couple of years ago and so most landowners now see masts on their land as a hassle. In circumstances where you are stuck with them, we can help to ensure that the leases are as fair and as flexible as possible in line with the new legislation.

This article is from the spring / summer 2020 issue of Agricultural Brief, our newsletter for farmers, landowners and others involved in agriculture. To download the latest issue, please visit the newsletter section of our website. 

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The content of this article is for general information only. It is not, and should not be taken as, legal advice. If you require any further information in relation to this article please contact the author in the first instance. Law covered as at June 2020.