Statement: Electronic Communications Code of practice

Published: 12 September 2023
Consultation closes: 7 November 2023
Status: Closed (statement published)

The Electronic Communications Code (‘the Code’) confers certain rights on providers of electronic communications networks and on providers of systems of infrastructure (designated by Ofcom as ‘Code Operators’) to install and maintain electronic communications apparatus on, under and over land, including on public highways, and results in considerably simplified planning procedures. In the event that agreement cannot be reached with the owner or occupier of private land, the Code allows an operator to apply to the court to impose an agreement conferring the Code right being sought or for the Code to bind the landowner or occupier.

The Code also requires Ofcom to publish, amongst other things, a Code of Practice concerning agreements for access to private land under the Code. In December 2017 Ofcom published a Code of Practice after consultation with industry.

Last year Ofcom undertook to review the Code of Practice, and invited the NCA to contribute to this review by proposing a set of draft revisions. Having carefully considered the NCA’s recommendations, Ofcom published a Consultation in September 2023 which set out its proposals for amending the Code of Practice.

Having reviewed responses to this Consultation, Ofcom has now published its Statement, which includes the final version of the Code of Practice. Ofcom has also separately published the Code of Practice as a standalone document.

The new Code of Practice published today includes amendments to the 2017 Code of Practice, as well as the addition of new elements in line with updates to the Electronic Communications Code. A key new addition is the inclusion of text on the process for resolving disputes that may arise between Operators and Site Providers and specifically, best practice in relation to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) procedures. This text is intended to facilitate the effective resolution of disputes that arise and ensure telecommunications equipment is deployed as quickly and as smoothly as possible.

Contact information

Jack Gaches
Riverside House
2A Southwark Bridge Road
London SE1 9HA
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