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CLA to Finalise National Wayleave Deal for UK Rural Broadband Boost

Friday, Nov 2nd, 2012 (1:12 am) - Score 776

The Country Land and Business Association(CLA), a lobby group for land owners in England and Wales, has confirmed to ISPreview.co.uk that it expects to finalise a national wayleave agreement for underground cables this month. The move could help to develop superfast broadband networks in rural areas.

The development, which was first announced last year and had originally been intended to launch before the end of 2011, is designed to make it easier, cheaper and quicker to deploy superfast fibre optic internet services into rural areas by granting special access to land (e.g. a private farmers field) for the deployment of new cables; usually for an annual fee or compensation.

Unfortunately wayleave agreements (terminable licences) are notoriously complicated and expensive to arrange. Each land owner typically requires a different approach and in some cases the costs can quickly spiral out of control. A national agreement could solve that, if only it were so simple.

Land owners are understandably weary, just as any of us would be if somebody wanted to run a new cable through our garden, about any agreement that could result in disruption to their property. For example, the National Farmers Union (NFU) has raised concerns about the impact of Competition Legislation upon its proposals (i.e. the cartel provisions).

Crucially the CLA said last year that it would work to secure an exemption to existing competition rules, which might not even be needed because their original plan was for a voluntary agreement. The idea being to develop a standardised approach, which would save time and money, but not to force it upon anybody.

A firm date for the new agreement has not been set but the CLA did say that it would happen in November 2012, although they refused to elaborate on the delay, which is said to be “confidential between all the parties involved“.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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