All new-build homes will be built with gigabit-speed broadband
The government plans to legislate to make sure new-build homes come with gigabit-speed broadband.
It said this will allow people to work from home more easily and will give homes fast and reliable connections for streaming TV and films on multiple devices at the same time.
One in five new-build homes are still being built without gigabit-speed connections, mostly in smaller developments, where the cost can be higher or network operators have not had the time they need to build in connections before completion.
The move will mean developers will be legally required to install high-quality digital infrastructure from the outset, make it a priority as part of the build, and ensure broadband companies are on board before the first brick is laid.
Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “This legislation means every new home will be built fit for the future and 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 commitment to give everyone in the UK access to gigabit broadband, as we connect and level up the country.
“The government will amend building regulations to guarantee that all new homes have the right infrastructure to support gigabit broadband and housing developers must work with network operators to install internet speeds of over 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps) in new-build homes, up to a cost cap of £2,000 per dwelling.”
Discounted installation costs
To make sure developers are incentivised to follow the plans, the government has worked with operators to secure significant new commitments that they will contribute to the costs of installing gigabit broadband in new-build homes.
Virgin Media will contribute at least £500 and in the case of some larger sites £1,000. Openreach has committed to a combined contribution with developers of £3,400, with a maximum developer contribution of £2,000. The government expects to have agreement from other operators in the coming weeks.
Lutz Schüler, CEO of Virgin Media, said: “Many property developers have been building brand new homes with second-rate broadband connections for far 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 called for. By busting these broadband barriers, government and industry can work together and ensure new homes are no longer left behind in the gigabit broadband revolution.”
The policy applies to all new residential dwellings, including conversions and self-built homes, but excluding renovated buildings, schools, hotels and prisons.