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Simplifying consents with Land Access Reforms

The Telecommunications Act has recently changed. These changes introduce a new, simplified consent process for installing fibre where there are multiple interests in a property.

What’s changing

From October, we’ll follow a new process when installing fibre in shared driveways and multi-dwelling units. First, we’ll assess what needs to be done in the driveway or building to deliver fibre. We’ll then allocate the work into one of three categories and follow the process set out in the Telecommunications Act for the relevant tier.

  1. Simple low impact work e.g. fibre buried in soil or fence-mounted will require 5 days’ minimum notice, with no right of objection.
  2. Medium impact work e.g. fibre in slot trenches will require 15 days’ minimum notice, with right of objection on defined grounds. 
  3. High impact work e.g. more extensive trenches in concrete driveways will require the same written consent as today.

You’ll then be able to check a site’s category via our order portal.

We estimate 70%  of previously declined requests will now be successful. Applications classed as having low or medium impact are especially likely to proceed. If any affected party has any issues with regards to the work (or its categorisation), they can raise their issues with us in the first instance.

In support of this, an independent disputes resolution scheme has been set up to protect property owners. This scheme is run by Utilities Disputes Limited (UDL). Consumers may engage the scheme if we’re at an impasse, and are unable to resolve the objection. Your customers can have confidence that any disputes will be dealt with fairly and efficiently. We’re the first LFC to join up to the scheme.

Under the new changes to the Act it’s in our best interest to use lower impact installation methods to avoid property disruption. It also enables the use of existing infrastructure (such as electricity lines) for deploying fibre in rural areas.

Next steps

Please ensure your customer service teams are aware of these categories, as shown in our order portal.

We’re currently creating some short videos to explain the process and the associated categories. They'll be available on the service provider website from early October. Till then, you’ll find more information on our public website.

Please contact your service delivery manager if you have further questions.