Getting your first business location or moving an established business is difficult. First, finding and getting the space. Then fit out. And if that wasn't enough, getting the communications in place can take even longer. With different documents from the providers, different landlord policies, and lawyers all with their own ideas, as well as rumours in the market of one prominent landlord refusing to deal on the terms of one equally prominent communications provider (!) you can be forced to open based only on your ability to get a 3G signal on your mobile.
With this in mind, various people have been working on getting in place standard protocols and documents. The Land Law Committee of the City of London Law Society led the drafting process. Now the City of London Corporation have announced that these are ready, and are supported by the industry, London Councils and others. You can find them here - www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/standardisedwayleavetoolkit
and there is nothing to prevent them being used generally across England and Wales. In many areas of property law, we are moving towards standardising - perhaps other infrastructure could be next?
The (City) Corporation has been working with London’s main developers, landlords, broadband operators, property managers, government, legal firms and key trade associations to produce a set of tools to make it easier and faster to agree digital connections. A key element is a standardised legal agreement - known as a wayleave. Previously, business tenants faced long negotiations with providers to agree new wayleaves from scratch each time they wanted to get broadband fibre installed. This cost all parties involved time and money and will hopefully see waiting times for installation reduced from as much as a year to a few weeks because they can use the standardised document. Some businesses have even been forced to occupy new office space with no access to broadband due to the time taken to agree wayleaves, significantly affecting their business operations.