Fibre-optic cable pylon deal slated

22 May 1998

Fibre-optic cable pylon deal slated

PRODUCERS with pylons on their land should receive higher payments from electricity companies which stand to make millions of £ by carrying fibre-optic communications cables across farmland, according to one producer who farms on the outskirts of London.

Struck deal

Kevin Harding of Upminster, London, claimed that a deal struck between the NFU, Country Landowners Association and Energis – a subsidiary of electricity company National Grid – was made on the basis that the cable, which runs between the tops of the pylons, was for the exclusive use of Energis. And only messages for the National Grid would be carried.

"Now, Energis tell us they will let the cable out to any company. And as a result their share price has rocketed. Farmers should get a share of this because the original payment of 22.5p/m was negotiated on the basis that the cable was for in-house use," said Mr Harding.

But a spokesman for National Grid said this does not constitute an upgrade of the equipment and the deal remains the same.

"Perhaps farmers should buy shares in National Grid," he said.

National Grid has hit on the lucrative sideline of stringing fibre-optic communication cables between pylons.

See more