Surveyors advising in respect of the Electronic Communications Code

The electronic communications sector has witnessed dramatic evolution both in terms of the development of new technologies and the demand for services. This has resulted in a profound shift in the way digital electronic communications are deployed, accessed and used. The government acknowledged this by enacting the Electronic Communications Code at the end of 2017, as part of the Digital Economy Act 2017, to facilitate the delivery and maintenance of high quality digital electronic communications infrastructure and to accommodate future technological development. The Code regulates the relationship between electronic communications network operators, infrastructure providers and site providers throughout the UK and provides a statutory framework for establishing agreements to place, operate and maintain electronic communications apparatus on land and property.

The government’s objective is to achieve the right balance of interests between site providers, electronic communications providers and, most importantly, the public interest in access to a choice of high-quality electronic communications services, and a competitive and sustainable digital communications infrastructure.

The aim of this guidance note is to highlight the main factors that may influence or impact the variety of roles a surveyor may be called on to perform within this environment. Given the dynamic nature of the industry, it is not intended to provide an exhaustive body of guidance but to identify the main issues likely to arise. This ground-breaking guidance note will also provide a framework that surveyors can refer to when advising their clients in relation to electronic communications networks and installations that fall under the scope of the Electronic Communications Code.