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How Cornerstone is working to improve rural mobile coverage

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Cornerstone, the leading UK mobile infrastructure services company supports tens of millions of voice and data customers using the networks that depend on our infrastructure. Our partnership with landlords enables us to deliver mobile connectivity solutions across the UK for today and the future.

Poor connectivity in rural areas can have a significant negative effect on the residents, local farms and businesses who require better mobile coverage to keep pace with today’s evolving digital society.

In response to rural communities’ concerns, the government made changes to the Electronic Communications Code (ECC) legislation in December 2017, making it easier for telecom operators to install and upgrade mobile infrastructure on sites.

By bringing land valuations in line with their actual worth rather than their value to the telecom operators means that greater investment can be put into improving coverage to rural areas.

The ECC is a mechanism for bringing operators and landlords together to consensually agree on land valuations and rental terms. It’s a way of improving and extending mobile connectivity across the UK.

The previous way of valuation would not have been commercially viable to provide the infrastructure now needed to support the demands for connectivity, particularly with data growth increasing exponentially.

The ECC has divided opinion. For some it is seen as a mechanism for building the UK’s digital future, for others it’s a barrier to installing mobile infrastructure.

Working collaboratively

Cornerstone, the leader in UK mobile infrastructure, believe that if landlords and telecom operators work collaboratively together they will create a far more positive change, more quickly, for rural communities to connect wherever and whenever they want.

Recent tribunal cases on the ECC (EE Limited and Hutchison 3G UK Limited vs The Mayor and Burgesses of the London Borough of Islington) point to consensual agreements being the preferred route rather than through the Lands Tribunal.

Significant benefits have already been gained from rural areas that have had mobile masts installed whether for home owners, farmers, visitors, businesses or tourists.

Having digital access saves time, money and effort which wouldn’t be possible with poor or no mobile connection. That’s why reliable mobile connectivity makes such a huge difference to the rural community.


Simon Oborn, Head of Property & Estates, Cornerstone

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