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Wayleave to speed up Superfast broadband in the City

A new standardised legal document which will speed up the process for businesses to get superfast broadband has been published by the City of London Corporation.

The Corporation has been working with London’s main developers, landlords, broadband operators, property managers, government, legal firms and key trade associations to produce a set of tools to make it easier and faster to agree digital connections. A key element is a standardised legal agreement known as a wayleave. The Land Law Committee of the City of London Law Society led the drafting process.

Previously, business tenants faced long negotiations with providers to agree new wayleaves from scratch each time they wanted to get broadband fibre installed. This cost all parties involved time and money. In the past, some businesses have even been forced to occupy new office space with no access to broadband due to the time taken to agree wayleaves, significantly affecting their business operations. The introduction of a new, standardised document will hopefully see waiting times for installation reduced from as much as a year to a few weeks.

The consensus reached among all parties involved in project means the City’s toolkit should be widely used. This toolkit will be promoted in all major commercial property developments through London borough planning policy. Brookfield & Oxford Properties intend to be amongst the first to use it at their 307,238 sq ft landmark development at London Wall Place.

The backing of the Department of Culture Media & Sport and the Mayor of London was warmly welcomed by Policy Chairman at the City of London Corporation, Mark Boleat, who said:

“Broadband is the lifeblood for successful firms so it is essential they have access to high-speed internet when they move in. Any efforts which reduce the time and cost in getting superfast broadband in the capital are a welcome step. It has been great to see so many interested parties pulling in the same direction to get this legal template agreed.”

John Dickie, Director of Strategy & Policy at London First, said:

“If London is to remain competitive as a global business centre, companies need to be able to ‘plug and play’, and the City’s standardised wayleave project will allow faster telecoms connections and save businesses time and money.”

Contact: Tim Scott, tscott@londonfirst.co.uk

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