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New-build homes ‘unsustainable’ without legal broadband clause on developers

PUBLISHED: 12:37 25 April 2017 | UPDATED: 12:37 25 April 2017

Housing developers must be legally compelled to ensure owners get access to fibre broadband, it has been argued. Picture: SU ANDERSON

Housing developers must be legally compelled to ensure owners get access to fibre broadband, it has been argued. Picture: SU ANDERSON

Housing developers should guarantee access to fibre broadband, insist authors of a report on new-build connectivity.

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To send a link to this page you must be logged in. Consumer telecoms experts called for legislation ensuring buyers get access, following a study of the country’s leading property firms. A report by comparison site cable.co.uk revealed just one of the top 20 developers – London firm Mount Anvil – could confirm fibre broadband was available at all properties built in the last year.

Calls for tighter regulations were echoed by Suffolk county councillor Christopher Hudson, who had previously recommended developers commit to installing high-speed broadband at planned housing sites1 – something he called as important to buyers as proximity to good schools, and as fundamental to new-build homes as gas and electricity. Asked the percentage of homes built in the last 12 months with access to superfast broadband at completion, most developers did not respond, declined to comment or claimed not to know. The site a quarter of owners were told the likely speed by the seller, but more than a third had to look it up, while the rest had not considered it might be an issue.

Mr Hudson said: “National policy talks about ‘presumption in favour of sustainable development’. Broadband is now as important as any other utility – without it, how can development by considered sustainable?

“Good broadband is not something people should aspire to. In Estonia, it’s hard-wired into the economy – why not here?

“Data should travel so people don’t have to.”

Dan Howdle, of cable.co.uk, said: “It’s the ultimate irony that, while trying to solve the problem of getting the final 5% of the UK covered by superfast broadband, we’re creating new problems.

“Current guidelines don’t extend to saying fibre broadband should be expected, and people don’t think to ask when they move into a new-build – some of which are so far from a street cabinet that speeds drop to unacceptable levels. It needs action from the provider, builder and government. Until then, buyers should be informed enough to ask.”

The Home Builders Federation said developers were committed to increasing connectivity.

It struck a deal with the government and BT Openreach last February that saw fibre broadband offered to all new developments – but did not carry a legal requirement to ensure homes are fitted with connections.

References

  1. ^ commit to installing high-speed broadband at planned housing sites (www.eadt.co.uk)

Thousands of Tendring homes to get superfast broadband roll-out in the next few months

09:35 14 November 2016

Thousands Of Tendring Homes To Get Superfast Broadband Roll-out In The Next Few Months

Superfast broadband is being rolled out to more homes in Essex. Archant

Superfast broadband will be rolled out to thousands more Essex homes in the coming months by the county council.

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To send a link to this page you must be logged in. Around 5,500 premises in the Tendring district and 4,500 in central and north Essex will benefit from Phase Three of the initiative, which aims to connect up areas of Essex with the lowest levels of broadband available.

The rollout will take the total coverage in the Tendring district to 100%. Phase One connected up 65,000 homes and businesses to the superfast broadband network and was finished three months ahead of schedule, while Phase Two is still ongoing – but is due to reach 120,000 sites and cover 95% of the county by 2019. Up to ?10million will be invested in Phase Three, which will also cover areas of Uttlesford and the south east.

In Phase Three, superfast internet will not only be achieved with fibre optic cables, with alternative solutions being considered to help extend the superfast broadband footprint to very rural and harder to reach parts of the county. A contract to deliver the superfast broadband will be awarded to a network operator in May next year. Tom Howard, Tendring district councillor for finance, said: “The importance of superfast broadband to both businesses and residents alike cannot be underestimated in today’s society.

“As such, Tendring District Council is firmly committed to achieving as near to 100% superfast coverage as is practicable.

“This is an opportunity for Tendring to lead districts across the country into the superfast digital age.”

The sites to be included in Phase Three of the superfast broadband rollout were decided following an open market review and public consultion.

For more information on the scheme, visit www.superfastessex.org/whatshappeningnext

References

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‘Superfast’ broadband welcomed in village

11:00 10 June 2016

'Superfast' Broadband Welcomed In Village

Areas of Brean will enjoy superfast broadband. Archant

A Somerset village has welcomed superfast internet services to more than 400 homes and businesses, in a project to boost the service ahead of the busy tourist season.

To send a link to this page you must be logged in. Three new fibre cabinets have been brought to Brean by Connecting Devon and Somerset, which is a programme working with BT to provide 100 per cent superfast broadband coverage by 2020.

Six local authorities are involved in the programme, including Somerset and North Somerset. The area s MP James Heappey has welcomed the latest development ahead of the summer season. He said: What a huge impact superfast broadband is already having in Brean.

It matters hugely not only to residents and the many businesses here but also the 30,000 visitors a week. It is so important to the economy in this part of Somerset. Councillor David Hall, Somerset council s cabinet member for economic development, said: I m delighted for everybody in Brean who now has the opportunity to access superfast broadband.

The ability to access high-quality communications is both critical to businesses and an important part of improving quality of life.

References

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