A ground-breaking telecoms case has been settled by the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) very recently. The case is likely to have huge implications for telecoms operators who are seeking to impose Code Agreements on landlords under the Electronic Communications Code and to drive down market rents to nominal figures upon lease renewals of mobile base stations.
In Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited v Compton Beauchamp Estates Limited the Tribunal dismissed an application for a Code Agreement by Cornerstone.
Cornerstone is a joint venture between Vodafone and Telefonica to manage the sites for both companies. Cornerstone has embarked upon a nationwide program of seeking to utilise the Electronic Communications Code of the Digital Economy Act 2017 to force landlords into both accepting mobile phone masts on their land when they are not wanted and to forcing down rents to nominal sums.
Cornerstone sought to impose a Code Agreement on the site near Swindon which was occupied by Vodafone, who shared the use of the mast with Telefonica. The Tribunal held that it could not impose a new Code Agreement on the landlord Compton Beauchamp Estates Limited as Cornerstone were not in occupation.
It is likely that this case will benefit landlords in all future lease renewals for existing sites.
It is also probable now that the Electronic Communications Code will mainly benefit operators setting up new sites as opposed to existing sites.
If you or your client receives a letter on behalf of an operator threatening to force a Code Agreement and to reduce telecoms rents, Waldrons’ Telecoms Team can advise you strategically on whether to seek improved rental and other terms or alternatively to pursue a more forceful approach.
Waldrons act exclusively for landlords who hold mobile phone sites across the UK. We have dealt with thousands of cases against operators.
Our Telecoms Team is headed by consultant solicitor Tim Clark who has become a well known figure in telecoms circles over the last 18 years.
For further information or assistance contact Tim Clark on 01384 267 119 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tim is supported by Waldrons’ Telecoms Team, Joanne Briscoe, Nicole Cleaver and Ann Marks.
For more information about Waldrons’ Telecoms Team and the services which we provide please click here.