UK homes to get better access to gigabit broadband | Infrastructure | News | Rapid TV News
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The UK government has brought into force new laws to allow new homes in England to be built with gigabit broadband connections and to allow telecoms firms to get faster broadband to nine million people living in blocks of flats.
Openreach Full Fibre 6Jan2023
The legislation is designed to address what is seen as a gating factor that could hinder the UK government’s plans to see 85% of the UK able to access gigabit fixed broadband by 2025. To date tenants living in the UK’s estimated 480,000 blocks of flats and apartments (multi-dwelling units, MDUs) have had to wait for a landlord’s permission to have a broadband operator enter their building to install a faster connection.

Such access rights are essential for the delivery of broadband upgrades as operators are unable to deploy their services without first obtaining permission, either from the landowner or a court, to install their equipment. Indeed, broadband companies have said that around two-fifths of their requests for access to install connections receive no response. Now, providers in England and Wales will be able to seek rights to access a property or shared land if the person required to grant access is unresponsive.

The Building Regulations 2010 act has now come into force meaning that people moving into new homes will have a gigabit-capable broadband connection ready when construction is completed, avoiding the need for installation work after the home is built and enabling residents to arrange their preferred internet service at the point they move in. Home developers will now be legally required to future-proof new homes in England for next-generation gigabit broadband as standard practice during construction.

Connection costs will be capped at £2,000 per home for developers and the UK government envisages a scenario where they work together with network operators to connect developments to a gigabit network. The UK government estimates over 98% of premises fall within this cap, meaning moving into a new build property without ultra fast speeds will become a thing of the past for the vast majority of people across England. Where a developer is unable to secure a gigabit-capable connection within the cost cap, developers must install the next fastest connection available.

Where a gigabit-capable connection is not available within the cost cap, gigabit-ready infrastructure, such as ducts, chambers and termination points, still needs to be installed. This will ensure that homes are fit for the digital age but may not be connected straight away.

In a further boost to people’s access to high speed broadband, the Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Act (TILPA), now in force in England and Wales, makes it easier for broadband providers to gain access to install equipment in blocks of flats, when a faster connection is requested by a tenant. It is estimated that an extra 2,100 residential buildings a year will be connected as a result.