Electronic Communications Code proposals withdrawn

January 27, 2015

Further to our news alert of 16 January 2015, it has now been reported that the proposed amendments to the Infrastructure Bill, which would have introduced a new Electronic Communications Code (“the new Code”), have been withdrawn by the Government.

This withdrawal has followed criticism due to the fact that the late introduction of the proposals for a new Code meant they would bypass a number of stages of Parliamentary and industry scrutiny. In the absence of sufficient analysis, it is possible that the new Code may have further clouded rather than clarified this particularly confusing area of law.

The complexity of the existing Code has meant that any proposed reform would always have presented a challenge, with the Law Commission’s recommended revisions amounting essentially to a complete overhaul of the existing Code. Given the rapidly changing telecommunications industry, it is essential that the new Code can stand the test of time in order for it to avoid becoming as outdated as the existing Code.

Although some parties have voiced their frustration with the withdrawal of the proposals, the decision has been welcomed by many  on the basis that a less hurried approach should allow for a full consultation to be conducted and more balanced and relevant legislation to be produced.

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