11 January 2001
Farmers fight for cable profits
By FWi staff
FARMERS are seeking a larger share of the profits for allowing telecommunications cables across their land.
A sister company of gas pipeline firm Transco is currently signing up landowners before laying high-tech fibre-optic cables in England.
Farmers have been offered 14.80 a metre and the offer of a rapid sign-up bonus of up to 750, reports the BBC Radio 4 Farming Today programme.
But farmers in the Eden Valley in Cumbria are holding out for more money arguing that it doesnt reflect the value of the cables.
The cash on offer does not bear any relation to the profits the company will make from the cables, they argue.
Instead, they are looking for payment on a royalty basis.
Although a national agreement has been struck with farmers representatives, both sides say there is room for individual negotiation.
Ultimately the companies do have statutory rights of compulsory purchase under legislation brought in before telecommunications were a free-market business.