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Cable.co.uk comments on Government announces 'inadequate' measures to improve connectivity in new-build homes

  • One hour ago (11am) the government announced measures aimed at ensuring fibre broadband will be offered to all new developments either for free or as part of a co-funded initiative
  • Measures fail to make broadband in new-build homes a legal requirement
  • Measures do not obligate home builders to inform buyers of potentially years of poor connectivity
  • Measures will help home developers, but fail to help afflicted home buyers both past or future

5 February 2016: The government has announced a deal with Openreach and the Home Builders Federation (HBF) to help improve superfast broadband connectivity to new-build properties in the UK.

The deal will see fibre broadband offered to all new developments either free of charge to developers or as part of a co-funded initiative between Openreach and the developer.

The government estimates more than half of all new build properties can be connected to fibre broadband free of charge to developers.

As part of the deal, developers will have access to an online planning tool from Openreach that will tell them if they can connect properties to fibre for free or whether they will have to make a contribution to the cost. Openreach will also provide developers with a rate card detailing the fixed-cost contributions.

Cable.co.uk has been covering the ongoing saga of broadband provision in new-build homes for the past year. In that time it has received hundreds of complaints from new-build residents who are either stuck with extremely slow broadband or no broadband connection at all. Links to multiple recent news pieces on the issue, published by Cable.co.uk, can be found further down this release.

The government's announcement, published at 11am today, can be found here

Commenting on Ofcom's findings, Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms expert at broadband comparison site Cable.co.uk, said:

“Thousands of homes up and down the UK have been built or are being built with unfit broadband connectivity. Cable.co.uk has received countless complaints from new-build homebuyers over the past twelve months. They are still pouring in, and the government’s answer to them in this instance is wholly inadequate.

“What is the purpose of a network provider making it easier for developers to install proper broadband infrastructure if it still remains the homebuilder’s choice as to whether or not to take action? These measures are arbitrary and unlikely to have any effect. They comprise neither legislative enforcement of superfast for new builds, nor any obligation for homebuilders to inform buyers they face years of broadband misery.

“Today’s announcement allows homebuilders to continue to do exactly what they have been doing: To sell homes with little or no broadband connectivity and without forewarning their buyers. As such, it is unlikely to appease the many thousands of families forced to choose between living with little or no connectivity, or selling up and moving on."

Related stories on Cable.co.uk

Notes to editors

If using our research and/or commentary we would deeply appreciate a link either to this page or to https://www.cable.co.uk

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What is Cable?

Cable is a broadband, TV and phone comparator, unique news source and consumer champion.

Dan Howdle has been plugged into the attitudes of UK broadband, TV and mobile customers for over two decades, running research fieldwork both nationally and internationally on behalf of the biggest players in the industry. Dan is now consumer telecoms analyst at Cable, as well as more formally operating in the role of its Director of Communications and Content.

An experienced broadcaster, commentator and writer, Dan has appeared on BBC TV and radio, ITV, Sky and in the national papers. Dan has advised Ofcom on issues surrounding service quality, administered Cable’s Broadband Service Quality Awards and sat on the panel of judges for the Internet Service Providers Association annual awards.

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