The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) is planning new laws to make it mandatory for developers to hook-up new homes to gigabit-speed fibre broadband.
The announcement was made today by DCMS Secretary of State Oliver Dowden MP. It forms one part of the government's strategy to connect substantially all of the UK to full-fibre by 2025.
The DCMS claims that just under one-in-five new homes are still being built without full-fibre connections, either from BT, Virgin Media, or any other provider, such as KCOM or CityFibre.
The move will legally require developers to make the installation of gigabit-speed broadband a priority as part of the build, and is intended to ensure broadband companies are on board before the first brick is laid, the DCMS claimed today.
"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," said Dowden.
The government will amend current building regulations to require all new homes to have the right infrastructure to support gigabit broadband and housing developers must work with network operators to install one Gigabit per second (Gbps) internet - subject to a cost cap of £2,000 per unit for the developer.
In addition, the government has twisted the arms of Virgin Media and BT Openreach to make contributions, with Virgin Media pledged to provide between £500 and £1,000, depending on the size of the site, and Openreach to provide developers with £3,400. Developers will contribute a maximum of £2,000.
The DCMS is also in talks with other developers to bring them on-board, too.
The measure should reduce the overall cost of providing fibre broadband to almost every premises across the UK, the DCMS added, as well as reducing the disruption caused by installing fibre broadband post-completion.
Legislation will be laid before Parliament as soon as possible.
"Providing full fibre to new homes is an important part of Openreach's commitment to invest in faster, more reliable broadband technology - as part of our ‘Fibre First' strategy," said Openreach CEO Clive Selley.
He continued: "We've been leading industry, progressively lowering the plot size threshold at which we offer free full-fibre installation for new housing developments. This is now available to smaller developments of just 20 homes.
"In addition, we've capped the amount house builders contribute if they ask Openreach to build full fibre to smaller-scale developments of just two and three premises - to help encourage further full fibre take-up."
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Glasgow, Nottingham and Wolverhampton, as well as smaller towns, such as Solihull, Crawley and Barnsley, to benefit from CityFibre gigabit broadband network