Reading time: 3 minutes

With the Government’s efforts to roll out the National Broadband Network (NBN), telecommunications carrier companies (carriers) will have requested many landowners enter into a telecommunications lease. This type of lease allows the carriers to access and install equipment on your land. If the carrier has asked you to enter into a lease or licence arrangement, you should understand your rights under the law and what to look out for in your lease.

Do Carriers and Landowners Need to Enter into a Telecommunications Lease?

Interestingly, the answer is no.

A carrier is not required by law to enter into any financial arrangement (such as paying a fee or rent) or telecommunications lease to access your land for the purpose of installing and maintaining their equipment for a fixed duration of time.

Carriers are perceived by the government to provide the necessary transmission infrastructure to which the public can access carriage and content services.

In recognition of this role, the law allows carriers the freedom to engage in the competitive market. The law does this by doing away with restrictions such as conforming with local planning laws and allowing unfettered access to private property.

Despite the lack of legal restrictions, a lot of carriers have offered to enter into a lease or licence arrangements with landowners as a show of good faith. They have offered to pay a licence fee or rent in return for access to the land.

Licence/Lease Terms

Given the carrier’s legal representative prepares the telecommunications lease or licence, it would be unsurprising if the provisions of these agreements are favourable to the carrier. Below is a cheat sheet of what you should look out for in a carrier’s lease/licence documents:

1. The Proposed Location

Ask to see a plan of where the carrier is intending to install their equipment. Will they be running any underground cabling across your property that can affect your above ground use?

2. Term (Length) of the Telecommunications Lease/Licence

Is the telecommunications lease for a fixed duration or does the carrier have a right to exercise a further option or holding over the lease/licence?

Does the carrier need to notify you when the term ends or can they quietly stay on?

You should ensure that any licence fee or rent offered during the term also carries over the option or holding if the carrier does stay on your property.

3. Indemnity

It is worthwhile to ensure that there is an appropriate mutual indemnity provision in the lease/licence agreement to cover for unforeseen circumstances.

For example, you might want to ensure there is an adequate indemnity provision where the carrier’s equipment causes damage or contamination to your land.

4. Out of Pocket Costs

You should make sure that you factor all of your out of pocket costs and that the carrier reimburses you for these expenses and any future costs.

Key Takeaways

With the new rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN), carriers have been active in requesting access to private land. If you find yourself being approached by a carrier with the offer to enter into a telecommunications lease or licence, be sure to read over the agreement carefully. Importantly, if you are unsure of your rights, ask! You can get in touch with our commercial leasing team on 1300 544 755.

Webinars

Redundancies and Restructuring: Understanding Your Employer Obligations

Thursday 7 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
If you plan on making a role redundant, it is crucial that you understand your employer obligations. Our free webinar will explain.
Register Now

How to Sponsor Foreign Workers For Your Tech Business

Wednesday 13 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Need web3 talent for your tech business? Consider sponsoring workers from overseas. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Advertising 101: Social Media, Influencers and the Law

Thursday 21 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Learn how to promote your business on social media without breaking the law. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Structuring for Certainty in Uncertain Times

Tuesday 26 July | 12:00 - 12:45pm

Online
Learn how to structure to weather storm and ensure you can take advantage of the “green shoots” opportunities arising on the other side of a recession.
Register Now

Playing for the Prize: How to Run Trade Promotions

Thursday 28 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Running a promotion with a prize? Your business has specific trade promotion obligations. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Web3 Essentials: Understanding SAFT Agreements

Tuesday 2 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Learn how SAFT Agreements can help your Web3 business when raising capital. Register today for our free webinar.
Register Now

Understanding Your Annual Franchise Update Obligations

Wednesday 3 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Franchisors must meet annual reporting obligations each October. Understand your legal requirements by registering for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Legal Essentials for Product Manufacturers

Thursday 11 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
As a product manufacturer, do you know your legal obligations if there is a product recall? Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a commercial law firm that provides businesses with affordable and ongoing legal assistance through our industry-first membership.

By becoming a member, you'll have an experienced legal team ready to answer your questions, draft and review your contracts, and resolve your disputes. All the legal assistance your business needs, for a low monthly fee.

Learn more about our membership

Need Legal Help? Submit an Enquiry

If you would like to get in touch with our team and learn more about how our membership can help your business, fill out the form below.

Our Awards

  • 2020 Innovation Award 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation Finalist – Australasian Law Awards
  • 2020 Employer of Choice Award 2020 Employer of Choice Winner – Australasian Lawyer
  • 2020 Financial Times Award 2021 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2021 Law Firm of the Year Award 2021 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards
  • 2022 Law Firm of the Year Winner 2022 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards