Share with your colleagues:

Trenches’ Code powers consultation underway to bridge digital divide for MDUs

In a digital age where seamless connectivity is crucial for work, communication, and progress, there's a segment of the population that continues to be underserved: Multi-Dwelling Units (MDUs). Recognising this gap, we’ve taken a significant step to help bridge the divide by requesting Code powers from Ofcom. And now, our fate lies in the hands of our Ofcom consultation — live as of 5 September 2023.

What are Code powers?

The core principle underpinning ‘Code powers’ revolves around the public’s entitlement to access electronic communication networks and services — essentially granting telecommunication providers similar privileges to other utilities.

Powers granted under the Electronic Communications Code (ECC) represent statutory entitlements for specified operators to:

  • Build and maintain infrastructure on public land without the need for specific street works licenses;
  • Benefit from certain planning immunities from Town and Country Planning legislation;
  • Seek court intervention to secure the necessary rights, in cases where agreements with private landowners cannot be reached.

Only telecommunication providers recognised by Ofcom can benefit from these privileges. 

Recognising the pace of progress required to help bridge the digital divide, we began our very own application progress earlier this year. The consultation process began on 5 September — to ensure transparency, inclusivity, and fairness — and will last for approximately 30 days before reaching a satisfactory conclusion.

You can read the full summary, here.

Why our application matters

Trenches Law aims to use these powers to benefit not only investors and freeholders but, more importantly, the MDUs that have been left behind in the nationwide full fibre rollout. Our goal is simple: to ensure equitable access to high-quality broadband for all.

Seamless connectivity is not just a matter of convenience; it’s a lifeline in today’s world. Whether it’s for work, education, healthcare, or simply staying in touch with loved ones, access to reliable internet is essential. By acquiring Code powers, Trenches Law is taking a transformative step towards making this essential lifeline available to everyone, especially those in MDUs who have long been overlooked.

As a neutral intermediary, we’re committed to fostering productive dialogues between stakeholders to make complex deployments in MDUs hassle-free. Trusted by the Solicitors Regulation Authority via our sister company Trenches Limited, we stand ready to streamline the process of obtaining wayleaves, conducting surveys, install telecommunication infrastructure, and ‘tap in’ local altnets to make these connection-ready networks truly accessible by way of assignment and non-favour of altnets and operators.

Stay tuned as the consultation progresses over the next 30 days, via our LinkedIn and X (formerly Twitter) channels.

Download our FREE guide to MDUs, here.

Hear from our experts

Read more latest news, insights and views from Trenches Law