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City of London Agrees Standard Wayleave Deal to Boost Fibre Broadband

Thursday, July 28th, 2016 (3:45 pm) - Score 1,586
City of london square mile united kingdom

The City of London Corporation has successfully agreed a new standardised wayleave template with local developers, landlords, ISPs, property managers, government, legal firms and key trade associations that should make it easier, quicker and cheaper to roll-out superfast broadband to buildings.

Wayleaves are notoriously complicated and costly legal agreements, which effectively grant special access to land or buildings for the deployment and management of new infrastructure, such as running a new fibre optic cable through buildings or installing other related infrastructure.

Such agreements are tricky because each land or building owner requires a separate approach and then the wayleave still needs to get approval from tenants, all of which can take a lot of time and money. At the end of last year the CLC set out to improve this by developing a standard approach.

The original plan (here) was to have a final agreement ready by the end of December 2015, but in the end it took a little longer (hardly surprising, these things aren’t easy due to lots of competing interests).

Claire Kober, Chair of London Councils, said:

“London boroughs are constantly looking for ways to attract businesses, but the process of installing broadband in business premises has long been an exasperating task. This new toolkit will reduce the process from months to weeks, allowing local areas to reap the benefits of economic growth much more quickly. We look forward to promoting it across the capital, and seeing a London-led initiative roll out across the country.”

Matthew Evans, CEO of the Broadband Stakeholder Group, said:

“Securing agreement on a standardised wayleave is a big step forward for the telecoms and property industries – and most importantly for companies operating in London. High quality, reliable connectivity has been shown to drive productivity growth in all sectors of the economy. Without these connections, moving businesses critical applications to the cloud, home working and teleconferencing are often impossible for firms to do with confidence.”

Admittedly the final agreement is still somewhat voluntary, although it’s likely to be quite widely used due to the sheer scale of all the parties involved in its creation. In particular BT (Openreach), Virgin Media, the Government (DCMS), Vodafone, O2, ISPA, Brookfield and the British Standards Institution among others have all supported it.

The toolkit (see it here), which currently only covers fixed line networks, will also be promoted in all major commercial property developments through London borough planning policy. Apparently one of the first to use it will be Brookfield & Oxford Properties, which intend to harness it for their 307,238 sq ft landmark development at London Wall Place.

It’s hoped that the approach, if successful, will also be spread to other cities and regions.

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Mark Jackson
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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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1 Response
  1. Avatar dragoneast

    It only takes a decade to get around to it. And London is first (and the only one, unless anyone knows different). Just about sums up the UK.

    Without the EU in sight.

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