The Supreme Court handed down a fresh ruling this morning that makes it easier for telecommunications firms to deploy 5G infrastructure in the UK.
The court ruled that telecoms firms have the right to upgrade existing phone masts, if they cannot consensually obtain landowner’s permission.
The judgement comes on the back of a series of long-running disputes between phone mast operator Cornerstone, and various landowners, including the owner of a Birmingham office building and the owners of an Oxfordshire estate.
A spokesperson for Cornerstone, whose infrastructure supports Vodafone, said the judgement “will allow operators to upgrade… a significant number of their sites where previously they had not been able to carry out vital works.”
“More communities will benefit from increased coverage and capacity, especially when those communities are emerging from the pandemic and desperately need better connectivity”, they added.
The judgement enshrines the government’s 2017 telecoms code into law by giving firms more rights to upgrade infrastructure.
The ruling comes as the government pushes ahead with plans to transform the UK into a “global leader in 5G”.
Anna Mullin, a partner at London law firm Forsters, described the ruling as a “triumph for technology”.