broadband activist rory welcomes breakthrough in landowner wayleave agreement

Broadband campaigning Rory has this week welcomed a package
of wayleave agreements which will help to make the roll-out of rural
broadband infrastructure both easier and more cost effective.

The deal, brokered by the National Farmers Union and the Country Land
and Business Association, will reduce the cost and time taken in
negotiating individual land access agreements between local landowners
and telecommunication companies installing infrastructure for
community rural broadband networks. The CLA and NFU proposal suggests
payment rates or agreements that landowners can enter into with
companies, which could include the decision to waive payment in return
for their own high-speed broadband connection to the network. It is
hoped that this agreement will provide certainty to communications
providers while still ensuring landowners receive an appropriate level
of compensation.

Rory said: “Any decision which will ease the provision of
high-speed broadband to our most remote and rural communities is very
welcome news. Broadband remains the single greatest contribution to
our economy, growth, or services we can make. Cumbrian communities
regularly find themselves ahead of the curve, and the Fell End
community has already shown that community engagement in the roll out
of local broadband infrastructure can encourage local landowners to
waive charges where there is a clear community benefit at stake. I’m
delighted with this work of the NFU and CLA, which should make it much
easier to replicate the Fell End model in other rural communities,
allowing for broadband roll out in circumstances where communication
companies may otherwise have concluded it was an unaffordable

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