New homes will come equipped with gigabit-speed broadband, the government has announced today.
Digital secretary Oliver Dowden has confirmed that legislation will be passed to ensure that developers are legally required to install world-class broadband speeds.
The announcement follows chancellor Rishi Sunak’s pledge in the Budget last week to invest £5bn into rolling out full fibre broadband across the UK.
Currently, one in five new homes are built without the connections needed for gigabit-speed broadband, but it will become a legal requirement that internet speeds of 1,000 megabit per second (Mbps) are integrated.
Mr 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.”
How Will The Plan Work?
The government will incentivise developers to follow the plan, by working with operators to secure commitments to contributing towards the cost of installing gigabyte broadband in new homes.
Virgin Media will contribute at least £500 per dwelling and up to £1,000 for larger sites, while Openreach which will supply a combined contribution with developers of £3,400. This contribution will be used to cap developers’ contribution per home at £2,000. The government expects to have agreement from other operators in the coming weeks.
The policy will ensure gigabit-capable connections are deployed in 99% of total new build homes, the government says.
Once the legislation is passed, as soon as parliamentary time permits, it will remove the need to retrospectively install broadband infrastructure and reduce disruption and high costs.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Today’s announcement will deliver internet speeds 200 times faster than you would need to watch an HD film on Netflix.
Why is Broadband Speed a Priority?
Having access to fast broadband is a priority shared by homeowners and aspiring homeowners alike.
Two thirds of British homeowners prioritise access to fast broadband over living close to good nurseries and schools, it was reported last year. And the smart home boom being embraced by self builders is enabling more technology to be integrated than ever before, which is particularly important as more and more people work from home in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
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This is therefore a decision that could be received very positively by aspiring homeowners.
“We welcome the government’s announcement that all new build homes will be required to have the infrastructure to support gigabit-capable connections, and we will work closely with the government and housebuilders on the best way to deliver this,” said Openreach chief executive Clive Selley.