not-spots to become “rural hot-spots”


25 October 2019

By Keri Constantatou

Poor phone coverage in rural communities has been a hot topic in recent years. It affects not only domestic users but more importantly, rural businesses.

Well now it appears there might be ‘clearer signals’ on the horizon for mobile phone users thanks to a collaboration between the UKs top four main mobile companies and a £1bn investment plan.

EE, O2, Three and Vodafone aim to get 4G coverage to 95% of the UK by 2025. The top four plan to create a shared network at a cost of £530m with the government potentially supporting it with another £500m once the deal has been finalised.

Currently around a third of the UK has very poor or non-existent mobile phone coverage. This announcement could provide an additional 280,000 homes and rural businesses along with 16,000km of roads with a much improved coverage.

Gepp Solicitors Agricultural Team provide expert advice to their rural clients on all aspects of mobile phone masts and utility company activity. Part of the £1bn rural mobile upgrade will inevitably mean the merging of masts (where more than one provider shares the same mast) as well as the need for the installation of new masts on private land.  

The Electronic Communications Code came into force on 28 December 2017, governing all new installations of apparatus and containing transitionary provisions for existing telecoms agreements and tenancies. This Code gives telecoms operators statutory rights to install and operate their apparatus over, under or on land. It also removed restrictions on the addition of new equipment to existing apparatus and the sharing of masts between operators.

Further information on his story can be found on the BBC website

If you currently have telecommunication masts on your land or are approached by a mobile phone provider, it is imperative you have a legal expert by your side. For further information or assistance on any agricultural or rural legal issue please contact us on either 01245 493939 or 

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.