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New initiative enables new build homes to have superfast broadband connectivity

Agreement between UK Government, BT Openreach and the Home Builders Federation aims to deliver superfast broadband connectivity to new build properties in the UK.

An industry-led agreement has been announced between UK Government, BT Openreach and the Home Builders Federation (HBF) to see fibre based broadband offered to all new builds homes either for free or as part of a co-funded initiative.

As part of the agreement, Openreach will introduce an online planning tool for homebuilders which will identify whether properties in a specific development can be connected to fibre for free, or if a contribution is needed from the developer to jointly fund the deployment of the local fibre connection.

The housing industry will also have access to a ‘rate card’ from Openreach which identified the fixed cost contributions required by homebuilders in the cases where joint funding is required. The HBF will promote and support uptake of the co-funding offer amongst their members, and emphasise the need to plan for connectivity early in the development.

The UK Government has an ambition to build 1 million new homes over the course of this Parliament and it is estimated that more than half of all new build properties can be connected to fibre broadband (FTTC or FTTP) free of charge to developers. Equally, in the Government's response letter to the solution put forward by Openreach and the HBF, UK Government also recognises that “there will be a limited number of new premises that are located in very hard to reach areas, and that smaller developers in particular, may need to consider a range of suppliers offering different technologies to achieve superfast connectivity.”

techUK’s Raj Sivalingam, Executive Director of Telecoms and Spectrum, commented on this announcement: “techUK has recently called for the increased awareness of the housing and facilities industries in the crucial role they have in planning for broadband access to their buildings and estates. Superfast broadband connectivity is viewed as a prerequisite for a successful digital economy and the UK currently having the highest superfast coverage in Europe. It is therefore positive to see Government support for this increased coordination between the communications sector and the housing industries for this new industry-led agreement. We also welcome The Government’s acknowledgement that a range of suppliers offering different technologies may need to be considered in harder to reach areas. As the trade association for the digital industries we are always open to help facilitate and promote such co-operation, in this case between the communications industry and the building/facilities sector.”

 

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