The current Electronic Communications Code (the Code) came into force in December 2017. The Code is contained in Schedule 3A to the Communications Act 2003.
The Code confers (among other things) the following rights on providers of electronic communications networks and/or systems of infrastructure, to whom the Code has been applied by Ofcom (Code operators):
- the right to install and maintain electronic communications apparatus, such as masts, base stations, cables and cabinets; and
- the right to apply for a court order to install and maintain apparatus on private land, if the Code operator in question has been unable to reach agreement with the landowner or occupier.
In certain circumstances, Code operators are required to give notices for the purposes of the Code, for example if the Code operator wishes to exercise a transport land right in order to carry out emergency works they must serve a notice on the transport undertaker. The Code provides that those notices must be in a form prescribed by Ofcom. In order to fulfill this duty, we have prescribed template notices which are set out below.
There are also circumstances in which Code operators and other parties may decide to give certain notices under the Code where there is no requirement on them to do so. Ofcom has decided to prescribe some of those notices to facilitate a smooth operation of the Code regime. These template notices are also set out below.
The Code has replaced the previous Electronic Communications Code which was set out in the Telecommunications Act 1984 (as amended) (the 1984 Code). Please note that the 1984 Code may still apply in certain circumstances, including the requirement to use template notices approved by Ofcom. Further information in relation to template notices under the 1984 Code can be found here.
Select the model of the Notice that you require:
Wayleaves agreements used by other organisations
Other standardised wayleaves agreements exist which may be of help as templates.
For example, see the City of London's standardised wayleaves agreement or the GLA Standardised Agreement for Rooftop and Greenfield.
Ofcom has received a stakeholder request for clarification concerning the Template Notice it has prescribed under paragraphs 20(2) and 27(1) of the Code. The request identified a drafting error and also raised a point of more general application.
The specific drafting point relates to a cross-reference in paragraph 18 of the Template Notice. Paragraph 18 incorrectly cross-referred to “paragraph 15a. or b.”. This cross-reference should have been to “paragraph 14a. or 14b.”. We have amended the published Template Notice to correct this error.
The point of more general application relates to the alternative forms of wording that are provided in the Template Notice and how these should be selected without invalidating it under paragraph 88(3) of the Code. The alternative forms of wording in the Template Notice allow it to be used, with appropriate modification, both under paragraph 20(2) and under paragraph 27(1). Paragraph 20(2) provides for a notice to be given where an operator requires a person to agree to confer a code right or to be otherwise bound by a code right. Paragraph 27(1) provides for the same notice to additionally require agreement on a temporary basis where a right is to be exercisable in relation to apparatus which is already installed and the landowner/occupier has the right to require the operator to remove the apparatus but the operator is not for the time being required to do so.
Deleting the appropriate text will not invalidate the notice. However, deletion is best effected by striking through the non-relevant text or paragraph rather than removing it altogether. This should ensure it is clear where alternative text has been selected or deleted and where optional wording is not used. It should also ensure that internal paragraph numbering and cross-references remain intact, as some Notices may provide for a whole paragraph to be deleted rather than for an alternative version to be selected. Ofcom suggests this approach is adopted wherever a prescribed Template Notice includes text which is marked for potential use or deletion.