The Government has worked with Openreach – BT’s local access network business – and the Home Builders Federation (HBF) on an agreement which aims to deliver superfast broadband connectivity to new build properties in the UK.
The new deal will see fibre based broadband offered to all new developments either for free or as part of a co-funded initiative. It is estimated that more than half of all new build properties can be connected to fibre broadband free of charge to developers.
As part of the agreement, Openreach is introducing an online planning tool for homebuilders. This will tell them whether properties in a given 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 network.
From today, the housing industry will have access to a ‘rate card’ from Openreach which details the fixed cost contributions required by homebuilders in those cases where joint funding is required. Openreach will make a significant contribution itself before seeking any funds from developers.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.
This new offer sets a high bar for all suppliers and developers in the market, and Government will be working with industry closely to monitor success over the next year.
Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said:
“The Government’s ambition to build 1 million new homes over the course of this Parliament will house families and future generations to come. Broadband connectivity is just one thing that home buyers now expect when buying a new build, so this industry-led push to make superfast, or indeed ultrafast, broadband speeds available by default in new homes represents a very important step in meeting the UK’s digital needs.”