Gigabit internet now legal requirement for new homes in England

The UK government has amended the Building Regulations 2010 to include a law that all newly constructed homes in England must be built with infrastructure and connections capable of delivering gigabit broadband.

Thanks to the updated regulations, people moving into new homes will have a gigabit-capable broadband connection, avoiding the need for expensive and disruptive installation work after the home has been built.

Connection costs will be capped at £2,000 per home for developers and it is estimated that over 98% of premises fall within this cap. If a developer is unable to install a gigabit-capable connection within the cost cap, they must install the next fastest connection available as well as gigabit-ready infrastructure such as ducts, chambers and termination points to ensure homes are ready for when it does become available within the price cap.

Another new law has made it easier to install faster internet connections in blocks of flats when landlords ignore requests for access from broadband firms.

The Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Act (TILPA), which is now in force in England and Wales, will make it easier for telecoms firms to access blocks of flats to install equipment when a faster connection is requested by a tenant. This means that broadband providers will be able to get faster broadband to 9 million people living in blocks of flats across the UK, connecting an extra 2,100 residential buildings a year.

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.”

Gigabit broadband delivers the fastest internet speeds on the market and is now available in over 72% of the UK, according to the website. Reports also suggest that it is already boosting productivity for millions working from home thanks to lightening fast download speeds, and allows families to stream movies, TV and video games in 4K and 8K onto multiple devices at the same time with no slowdowns in speed.

However, data referenced in the government’s technical consultation suggested that around 12%, equating to about 25,300 homes, do not have access to full fibre connection upon construction in a typical year. But the new rules ensure home developers are legally required to futureproof new homes in England with gigabit broadband connections.

Image: Maxx-Studio / Shutterstock

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