New homes will be gigabit ready

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden announced today (Tuesday, March 17) that the government will legislate to ensure new homes have gigabit broadband that is suitable for the future.

This is an important step in the Prime Minister’s plan to bring the UK up to speed and accelerate the national rollout of world-class broadband with the fastest speeds.

This will make it easier for people to work from home and provide homes with fast and reliable connections for streaming TV and movies to multiple devices at the same time.

One in five new homes are still built without a broadband connection, mostly in smaller developments, where the cost may be higher or where network operators have not had time to build the connections before completion .

The move will mean developers will be legally required to install high-quality digital infrastructure upfront, make it a priority for construction, and ensure broadband companies are on board before the first brick is laid.

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

This legislation means that every new home will be built for the future and will give people access to world-class broadband speeds from the moment they move in.

It’s all part of our plan to deliver on our pledge to give everyone in the UK access to gigabit broadband, as we connect and level the country.

The government will change building regulations to ensure all new homes have the right infrastructure to support gigabit broadband and real estate developers must work with network operators to install internet speeds of over 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps) in new homes, up to a cost cap of £ 2,000 per home.

The legislation, which will be tabled as soon as parliamentary time permits, will remove the need to retrospectively install broadband infrastructure and reduce disruption and high costs.

To ensure developers are incentivized to follow through with the plans, the government has been working with operators to secure significant new commitments that they will contribute to the costs of installing gigabit broadband in new homes.

Virgin Media will contribute at least £ 500 and in the case of some larger sites £ 1000. Openreach has pledged a combined developer contribution of £ 3,400, with a maximum developer contribution of £ 2,000. The government hopes to have the agreement of the other operators in the coming weeks.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said:

We are building more new homes than at any time in the past 30 years and helping more people rise through the ranks. We want to make sure that these new homes are of high quality and fit for the future.

Today’s announcement will deliver internet speeds 200 times faster than what you would need to watch an HD movie on Netflix.

Clive Selley, CEO of Openreach, said:

Providing complete optical fibers to new homes is an important part of Openreach’s commitment to invest in faster and more reliable broadband technology, as part of our “Fiber First” strategy.

We have been at the forefront of the industry, gradually lowering the plot size threshold at which we offer free full fiber installation for new residential developments. This is now available for smaller developments of only 20 homes. Additionally, we have capped the amount home builders contribute if they ask Openreach to build full fiber for smaller scale developments of just 2 and 3 premises – to encourage greater adoption of fiber. integral.

We welcome the government’s announcement that all new homes built will need to have the infrastructure to support gigabit connections, and we will work closely with the government and home builders on how best to ‘achieve it.

Lutz Schüler, CEO of Virgin Media, said:

Many real estate developers have been building new homes with second-rate broadband connections for too long.

The government should be applauded for introducing legislation to ensure every new home has access to future-proof gigabit broadband as standard – something we’ve long been calling for. By removing these broadband barriers, government and industry can work together to ensure new homes are no longer left behind in the gigabit broadband revolution.

The policy, which will be set as secondary legislation, meaning it can be introduced more quickly, applies to all new residential housing, including conversions and self-built homes, but excluding buildings renovated, schools, hotels and prisons.

Government statistics estimate that 215,000 new homes are built each year.

The government expects that 98.1% of the time gigabit broadband will be installed at no cost to developers and developers will have to contribute over £ 1,800 for just 0.1% of new builds.

With an assumed operator contribution of between £ 500 and £ 1,400, this policy will ensure that currently gigabit compatible connections will be deployed in 99% of the total new premises built.

At the same time, the government’s Rural Gigabit Connectivity program, which aims to provide all-fiber broadband to the most remote areas of the UK, continues to work with partners and local organizations to upgrade the public sector in the areas. rural.

Notes to Editors
  • In its response to the consultation New Build Developments: Delivering gigabit-capable connections released today, the government said it would use existing powers in the Building Act 1984 to amend the Building Regulations 2010 to require that:

  • Developers make sure new homes have gigabit broadband. This includes ensuring that the physical infrastructure necessary for gigabit compatible connections is provided onsite for all new build developments and that the home is connected by an operator to a gigabit compatible connection.

  • The obligation for the developer to provide a gigabit compatible connection exists unless the cost for the developer to provide the connectivity exceeds £ 2,000, or the operator refuses to provide a connection.

  • If gigabit broadband exceeds the cost cap, the developer must provide at least one ultra-fast connection within the same cost cap, unless the operator refuses to provide a connection.

  • Building regulations are a devolved matter. Therefore, legislative changes to the Building Regulations 2010 will only apply to England. However, providing gigabit compatible connections to new homes is a priority for government across the UK. We will therefore work closely with and decentralized administrations to help them implement this consistently across the UK.

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