Have your say on the Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill

28 January 2020

Do you have relevant expertise and experience or a special interest in the Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill, which is currently passing through Parliament?

If so, you can submit your views in writing to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee which is going to consider this Bill.

The Public Bill Committee is now able to receive written evidence. The sooner you send in your submission, the more time the Committee will have to take it into consideration.

The Committee will meet for the first time on Tuesday 11 February 2020. It will stop receiving written evidence at the end of the Committee stage, which is expected to be not later than 5.00pm on Thursday 13 February 2020. However, please note that when the Committee concludes its consideration of the Bill it is no longer able to receive written evidence and it can conclude earlier than the expected deadline of 5.00pm on Thursday 13 February 2020. You are strongly advised to submit your written evidence as soon as possible.

Aims of the Bill

The Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill would amend the Electronic Communications Code (the Code), contained in Schedule 3A to the Communications Act 2003 (as amended).

The Bill would insert a new Part 4A. The new Part 4A would provide a process that telecommunications operators could use to gain access rights (called “code rights”) to multi-dwelling premises for a defined period. The process would only apply where:

  • a lessee in occupation in a multi-dwelling building has requested a telecommunications service from an operator;
  • to connect the property the telecoms operator requires an access agreement with another person such as the landlord; and
  • the landlord has not responded to the telecoms operator’s request for access.

The Bill sets out steps that telecoms operators must take before applying to the court, such as the number of notices that must be given. Code rights, if granted, would only be for an interim period to be set by the Secretary of State by regulations and would be no more than 18 months.

The new process would come into force on a day appointed by the Secretary of State in regulations. There are delegated powers in the Bill for which statutory instruments are required before the regulations come into effect. For example, regulations will set out the terms of an agreement that can be imposed by the court under the new procedure. These regulations would require consultation with stakeholders and be made by the affirmative procedure. Other regulation making powers in the Bill use the negative procedure.

The Bill would apply to the whole of the UK because telecommunications is a reserved power.

Follow the progress of the Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill

The Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill 2019-20 was introduced to the House of Commons on 8 January 2020. Second reading was held on 22 January 2020.

This Bill has now been committed to a Public Bill Committee which will hold its first meeting on Tuesday 11 February 2020. There will be no oral evidence sessions.

Guidance on submitting written evidence

Deadline for written evidence submissions

The Public Bill Committee is now able to receive written evidence. The sooner you send in your submission, the more time the Committee will have to take it into consideration, and possibly reflect it in an amendment. The order in which amendments are taken in Committee will be available in due course under Selection of Amendments on the Bill documents pages. Once the Committee has dealt with an amendment it will not revisit it.

The Committee will meet for the first time on Tuesday 11 February 2020. It will stop receiving written evidence at the end of the Committee stage, which is expected to be not later than 5.00pm on Thursday 13 February 2020. However, please note that when the Committee concludes its consideration of the Bill it is no longer able to receive written evidence and it can conclude earlier than the expected deadline of 5.00pm on Thursday 13 February 2020. You are strongly advised to submit your written evidence as soon as possible.

Your submission should be emailed to scrutiny@parliament.uk.

Further guidance on submitting written evidence can be found here.

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