Govt aims to speed up broadband rollout by slashing red tape
Broadband providers will be able to install street cabinets and other infrastructure without the need for prior planning permission from local councils, under plans announced by new Culture Secretary Maria Miller.
The measure, which will apply in all areas apart from sites of special scientific interest, is just one of the ways Ms Miller is attempting to speed up the rollout of super-fast broadband by eradicating layers of red tape.
Additional proposals are designed to reduce the cost and bureaucracy involved in laying cables in streets and remove the need for lengthy negotiations when installing vital broadband infrastructure on or under private land.
Failure to secure planning permission has previously led BT to ditch plans for a fibre optic broadband rollout in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
In May, the borough council rejected BT's plans to install 108 cabinets amid fears they would ruin the area's "historic streetscapes".
The government has also pledged to work with mobile operators, local government and other interested parties to fast-track the deployment of faster mobile services.
"We are putting in the essential infrastructure that will make UK businesses competitive and sweeping away the red tape that is a barrier to economic recovery," Ms Miller commented.