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Legal requirement for gigabit-speed broadband in UK homes

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Home developers across the UK will soon be legally required to install gigabit-speed internet connections in all new build homes, following a change in building regulations.

Confirmed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on 17 March, the plans are designed to “ensure broadband companies are on board before the first brick is laid”.

It means housing developers will be required to work with network operators to install internet speeds of at least 1,000Mbps in new-build homes, up to a cost cap of £2,000 per dwelling.

DCMS calculates that approximate 20% of new homes are constructed without gigabit-speed connections, due to a range of factors including the cost to network operators.  

“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 digital secretary Oliver Dowden.

“It’s all part of our plan to deliver on our commitment to give everyone in the UK access to gigabit broadband, as we connect and level up the country,” he added.

Dowden said the regulatory changes will “guarantee” all new homes have the infrastructure required to support gigabit broadband and, aside from delivering a faster user experience for millions of households, DCSM said the enhanced connectivity will also support more people to work from home – something the UK has struggled with over recent days as offices across the country close in response to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

However, with a global public health crisis ongoing, it could be sometime before the legislation is passed. The proposed timescale for the amendments, as set out by DCMS, is “as soon as parliamentary time allows”.

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