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The problem of absent landlords in London

In this blog, our MD and founder, Sharon McDermott, takes a look at the difficulties surrounding absent landlords in London – and the impact that this is having on the telecoms sector.

Currently, telecoms operators require formal permissions – known usually as access agreements or wayleaves – from landowners to allow them to enter properties and install fibre and broadband services. A high number of landlords – especially in relation to multi-dwelling units (MDUs) – are not responding to requests for access, resulting in the prevention of valuable services to tenants. And unsurprisingly – residents are forced to continue to use broadband with inadequate speeds using antiquated methods and are becoming extremely frustrated as a result.

Operators find that their requests for access to tenanted properties go without any response in almost half of cases – in some locations these figures are even higher. City centres can prove the most challenging and tenants in London are increasingly facing a lack of connection to acceptable broadband speeds due to access issues.

In cases where landlords are unresponsive there is little incentive for operators to allocate additional resources to actively pursue them – or to undertake the necessary work to connect the property.

The new Code (The Electronic Communications Code) encourages the installation and development of digital infrastructure by negotiation and voluntary agreements, with the imposition of orders by courts as the final option. The Code offers operators a potential route to obtain rights relating to the installation and upgrading (amongst other things) of electronic communications equipment – including those to enter land – which are called code rights.

With a Government pledge that by 2025-2027 15 million premises will have access to gigabit full fibre – and with the ultimate aim for nationwide access to gigabit full fibre by 2033 – a lot rests on the code and the cooperation of landlords.

Whether delivering a fully outsourced wayleave service, or support on a specific matter, Trenches initiate the most efficient way to install, maintain and replace your telecoms infrastructure on privately-owned land and buildings.

Find out more here.

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