Broadband red tape bill goes before parliament
A bill designed to reduce some of the legislation surrounding super-fast broadband rollouts has gone before parliament.
Called the growth and infrastructure bill, it includes reforms aimed at cutting back on broadband red tape in a bid to break down the barriers standing in the way of businesses creating new jobs.
Under the plans, internet service providers (ISPs) will be allowed to install broadband street cabinets without first winning approval from the local council, while companies will also face less cost and bureaucracy when laying cables in streets.
In addition, cable and cabinet deployments on or under private land will be able to go ahead without ISPs undertaking lengthy negotiations.
It is hoped the measures will prove particularly effective in helping to close the digital divide between urban and rural communities.
Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said the "commonsense reforms" will support local businesses and jobs.
"They complement the changes we are already delivering through the Localism Act, from streamlined planning guidance and, shortly, from the local retention of business rates," he commented.
Planning Minister Nick Boles added the bill removes "confusing and overlapping red tape" while ensuring environmental safeguards remain in place.