Council Leader welcomes Government's new-build broadband pledge
The Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council has hailed a Government pledge to make it mandatory for all new homes to be fitted with full-fibre broadband.
A year ago, Councillor Cutts called on district planning authorities in Nottinghamshire to insist all new homes are 'future proofed' with broadband access when considering applications for new developments. Her request came after a survey found that hundreds of new homes in the county, built in the last five years, had been constructed with no in-built provision.
Now the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) has announced that it is to bring in new legislation that will make it mandatory for developers to install full fibre connections when new homes are constructed. Full fibre technology will give those new homes ultrafast speeds of up to 330 Mbps – around ten times quicker than the current UK average.
The DCMS also committed to providing further public investment to improve broadband in rural areas as part of its wider review into the future of the UK's telecoms infrastructure.
Around £30 million has been invested in the county's digital infrastructure through the County Council-led Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire (BBfN) scheme since 2014. But that has included providing broadband infrastructure to some new build-properties because the opportunity was missed to install in-built provision during construction.
Councillor Cutts said: "I am absolutely delighted that the Government will now enshrine in law that all new homes must be given access to the fastest broadband speeds available - it is something that we have been campaigning on for some time. Broadband is an essential service to a modern home, in the same way that water, gas and electricity are.
"I wrote to the district council planning authorities to ask if they would consider making fibre broadband connections to all new homes part of their planning conditions some time ago, so I am pleased to see that the Government is now making this mandatory.
"Thanks to our substantial investment in the county's digital infrastructure, Nottinghamshire enjoys some of the best overall broadband provision in the UK, with 98% of homes and businesses in our area set to have access to superfast speeds by the end of this year, compared to 95% nationally. With new legislation on new build homes on the horizon, we can accelerate that coverage further."
Last month, the County Council announced that Openreach, Britain’s largest telephone and broadband network, had been awarded a contract to deliver a third phase of BBfN, which will provide access to full-fibre, ultrafast broadband for more than 2,500 homes and businesses in the Bassetlaw and Newark & Sherwood districts.
Homes benefitting from ultrafast broadband speeds can download a two hour HD film in just 90 seconds, a 45 minute HD TV show in around 16 seconds, or a nine hour audio book in just three seconds.
The £2.7 million contract will be delivered in some of the most rural parts of Nottinghamshire .
Detailed planning and survey work for phase three is underway , with the roll out expected to begin in Spring 2019 and take around six months to complete. It will move Nottinghamshire ever closer to 100% superfast broadband coverage.
Find out more about the Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire programme.