Building regulations will ensure better broadband connectivity

New building regulations will ensure that newly constructed homes are capable of providing gigabit broadband connections in England. 

Amendments to the Building Regulation 2010 legislation will seek to make it easier for home buyers to upgrade to super-fast broadband and end the problem of tenants waiting for landlords to engage with necessary works to upgrade.

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Julia Lopez, the Digital Infrastructure Minister, said: ‘Nothing should stop people from seizing the benefits of better broadband, whether it is an unresponsive landlord or a property developer’s failure to act. 

‘Thanks to our new laws, millions of renters will no longer be prevented from getting a broadband upgrade due to the silence of their landlord, and those moving into newly built homes can be confident they’ll have access to the fastest speeds available from the day they move in.’ 

The change follows a government consultation that found about 12% of homes constructed each year did not have access to a full fibre broadband connection, with the amendments looking to future proof new builds and avoid disparity for home buyers, especially as retroactive works to fit homes for a gigabit capable connection can be expensive and disruptive. 

Other legislation introduced will also seek to make it easier for tenants with an unresponsive or dismissive landlord to have broadband firms install better internet connections, meaning an estimated extra 2,100 residential buildings could be connected. 

Information from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport found that 40% of broadband companies’ request for access to install connections in flats and apartments get no response from landlords. 

Though it is estimated that 98% of homes will be able to reasonably install a gigabit capable connection, costs are capped at £2,000 per home with developer’s being obliged to install the next fastest connection if gigabit broadband exceeds the limit. 

Connecting the UK’s homes and businesses to fast broadband has been a large focus for the government in recent years, especially as it begins a £5bn national scheme to connect hard to reach areas across the country. Work on the scheme continued recently with a project to connect 60,000 buildings in Cumbria.

Photo by Etienne Girardet


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