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Belinda Fawcett

Our digital world is changing

Hello and welcome to our Autumn Winter 2018 Landlord Newsletter.

In this edition we will take you through the recent changes in legislation that govern the telecommunications sector and outline Cornerstone’s position on this. We’ll also share our commitment to make it easier for us to engage with one another and explain how we would like us to work together to make the UK a world leader in technology and connectivity.

With the mobile telecommunications sector evolving at such an exciting pace, it is in our DNA at Cornerstone to prepare for the next generation of technologies and the ever increasing demands on the mobile network infrastructure. With 5G on the horizon and the benefits that are expected we know that continuing to develop our relationship with you is crucial. This is even more important to us since the government announced the reforms to the Digital Economy Act in 2017.

The reforms outline the Government's intention for the UK to become a global leader in digital connectivity by introducing a range of new measures to ensure that connectivity is available to everyone across the country.

These changes have been well publicised and follow a considerable period of consultation across the rural, urban and operator sectors. Whilst this is a fundamental change to our industry the reality is that it is simply bringing the approach to communications infrastructure in line with other utilities.

One of the key changes within this legislation includes the way we are required to calculate what we pay to you. Historically this would be based on the value of the site to the mobile operator. Now the payment will be based on the market value of the underlying land (or rooftop) excluding the value to the mobile operator. In addition, we are required to compensate you for any losses you incur as a result of the infrastructure being located on your land.

We understand that this change has caused concern and confusion within our landlord community not least because it will, and is intended to, lead to a reduction in the cost of the site to the Operator, ultimately making it easier and cheaper to build mobile networks. It is important to remember that the reason for the change is to ensure that the UK becomes a world leader in the next generation of mobile technology. Equally as important by deploying connectivity to the majority of the UK by 2027, UK consumers, businesses and communities will all be able to take advantage of the benefits that the new technology brings.

With all this change and uncertainty it is important that we keep open the lines of communication and work in partnership to deliver the Governments ambitions for the digital economy, a point which our guest contributor, Derek McManus makes in his piece later on. To do this we have listened to feedback from our landlord community and the industry and have created the Cornerstone initiative ‘Connecting with you’. This is explained in more detail in this newsletter by Liz Gardner, Communications Manager. Liz will explain the improvements to our communications and the value these bring. We believe the result is a more personalised connection with you and a more straightforward way to access our knowledge and support. We want to understand your communication needs and preferences, but we need your help to do this. On behalf of Cornerstone, I wish to personally assure you of our commitment to communicate more and work more closely with you.

Yours sincerely,

Belinda Fawcett
General Counsel and Director of Property and Estates.

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