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Consultation on New Tools to Help Telecoms Negotiations in Scotland

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021 (12:22 pm) - Score 672
scotland_rural_5g_mast_Scottish_government

The Infralink programme, which is supported by the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) and the Scotland 5G Centre, has today invited views and opinions from landlords, the mobile phone sector and their advisors to help improve the complicated process of locating digital infrastructure and making it “fit for purpose“.

Back in March 2021, Infralink, published their standard leases and payment guidance for 4G and 5G macro sites (here). These tools, apply to land and buildings across a variety of location types across Scotland. Existing best practice was used as the starting point for the development of the tools to create a balanced starting point for negotiations.

NOTE: Wayleaves are notoriously complicated and often costly legal agreements, which grant special access to land or buildings for the deployment and management of new infrastructure, such erecting mobile masts or running a new fibre optic broadband cable through buildings or over fields.

The toolkit didn’t only help to “identify sites on public buildings for masts and antennae,” but it was also designed to ease the process of reaching agreements (wayleaves) to install the necessary kit by “[breaking] down previous barriers to the rollout“, which could in turn “lead to significantly faster deployment and increased investment in digital technology.”

As a result, Scotland appeared set to become the first part of the UK to have national pricing guidance for telecoms. Six months on, feedback is today being sought from landlords, the mobile sector and their advisors on the documents that have been developed and how they are being used.

In particular, views are sought on whether the standardised documents have achieved the balance aimed for between the landlord’s potential desire for control of an asset and the mobile tenant’s need to ensure a site continues to be viable and serve its customer base, depending on the asset type and location.

The consultation is open until 28th January 2022 and can be found on the Infralink website, along with the standardised leases and payment guidance. All of this could help to support both the commercial 5G rollout, and the new £1bn Shared Rural Network (SRN) industry project, which aims to boost geographic 4G mobile coverage of the UK to 95% by 2026 (here).

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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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