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Mobile networks may now enter and use private and public land to install their infrastructure.

Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams gazetted the new policy in order to accelerate the deployment of LTE and 5G networks.

According to the policy, any infrastructure remains the property of the mobile network.

Landowners could be held liable for damage to the equipment.

Refilwe Moloto interviewed Dominic Cull, Communication Law and Regulation Expert at Ellipsis.

Cull consults on the commercial and regulatory aspects of new technology, broadcasting, and electronic communications.

It’s not about 5G. And it’s certainly not about letting mobile networks come onto your property to install base stations. There are understandable concerns about health implications and implications for property values. I think a lot of it is unfounded.

Dominic Cull, Communication Law and Regulation Expert - Ellipsis

We all want better communications… There is going to be a need to build more infrastructure. This policy is not so much about building infrastructure on people’s properties…

Dominic Cull, Communication Law and Regulation Expert - Ellipsis

Mobile networks are going to have to negotiate with you and compensate you. In my view, it’s highly unlikely that they’ll be able to force you to submit to having something you object to erected on your land. If you have real concerns about health issues… this policy won’t allow Vodacom or MTN to ride roughshod over those concerns.

Dominic Cull, Communication Law and Regulation Expert - Ellipsis

We need to densify the networks. We need to build more base stations. That’s what this policy is about…

Dominic Cull, Communication Law and Regulation Expert - Ellipsis

Telkom and the City of Cape Town; that’s where most of the fighting is taking place.

Dominic Cull, Communication Law and Regulation Expert - Ellipsis

This is the kind of policy we’re going to have to push.

Dominic Cull, Communication Law and Regulation Expert - Ellipsis

For more detail, listen to the interview in the audio below.

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : New policy allows networks to build 5G towers on your property

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