24 June 2019

Michael Watson joins sector leaders for Estates Gazette telecoms debate

On Wednesday 12 June, Michael Watson attended the Estates Gazette (EG) Studio at the London Real Estate Forum (LREF) to record the podcast debate “Can real estate and telecoms deliver 5G?”.

Alongside Michael, the debate panel included Belinda Fawcett, General Counsel and Director of Property and Estates at infrastructure services firm Cornerstone and John Gravett, Head of Real Estate Management at Cluttons property consultants.

Recorded for Estates Gazette magazine as part of their presence at LREF, the panel considered how the 5G rollout can be supported in the wake of a sharp drop in the number of deals being done between landlords and telecoms providers for telecommunications masts and equipment needed to deliver the roll out.

Members of the real estate sector attribute the drop to the lack of an incentive for landlords to allow the installation of telecoms assets on their property following the introduction of the Electronic Communications Code in 2017. Infrastructure companies argue that landowners must engage in order for the 5G rollout to be successful.

The new telecommunications Code was intended to make it easier for masts to be installed, expanding the rights of operators to install apparatus on landlords’ property. On the infrastructure side, telecoms providers admit that there are limits to how much legal action will encourage landlords to engage.

To hear the panel’s conclusion, listen to the podcast here or read the full article from Estates Gazette here.