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Free fibre broadband to new-build developments of 250 houses or more: good, but not enough, says Cable.co.uk

  • Openreach to build fibre-to-the-premises broadband free of charge in new housing developments with more than 250 properties
  • A joint funding option will be available to smaller housing developments
  • Openreach also announced expansion of G.Fast technology trials
  • The move follows an investigation by Cable.co.uk exposing the lack of broadband connections in new-build homes

10 March 2015: This afternoon Openreach announced its commitment to build fibre-to-the-premises broadband infrastructure into new housing developments in the UK that have more than 250 premises, free of charge. There will also be a joint funding option available to smaller developments.

Openreach also announced it will build on trials of ultrafast ‘G.fast’ technology with new pilot sites in Cambridgeshire and Kent.

Our investigation highlighted the lack of adequate broadband connections in new-build properties back in January and called on providers and the government to improve the situation.

Following our investigation, the government announced a deal with Openreach and the Home Builders Federation (HBF) to help improve superfast broadband connectivity to new-build properties in the UK.

Commenting on the changes, Dan Howdle, telecoms expert at broadband, TV and mobile advice site Cable.co.uk, said:

“The move by Openreach to ensure – for free, no less – that all new-build housing projects are supplied with extremely fast broadband goes some way to addressing the frankly abysmal situation as it has been to this point – with homebuilders being in no way obliged to provide it, and therefore simply not doing so.

“However, this matter is by no means put to bed. Delivering hyperfast broadband only to new-builds with more than 250 properties is still going to leave behind a lot of housing, and does nothing for those already living in new-builds with awful or non-existent broadband.

"BT's joint-funding offer for new builds of less than 250 houses is a positive step, but it still relies on communication and cooperation between homebuilders and Openreach which, historically, has been shocking.

“Overall, I welcome Openreach’s effort here and offer it a heartfelt slap on the back. However, we will continue to put the spotlight on this issue until it is solved not just for some, but for for all of those affected both now and in the future."

Notes to editors

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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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