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ISPs urged not to take liberties over relaxation of broadband red tape

Monday, September 17th 2012 by Cable.co.uk
ISPs 'must not take liberties over broadband rollouts'

Broadband providers could damage their brands by failing to consider the impact of rollouts on local communities.

The proposed relaxation of planning laws governing broadband rollouts does not mean providers should ignore the needs of local communities, according to technology industry consultant Steve Nimmons.

Under the plans, unveiled earlier this month by new Culture Secretary Maria Miller, communications firms can install broadband street cabinets and other infrastructure without first gaining planning permission from local councils.

The measures will also aim to reduce the cost and bureaucracy attached to laying broadband cables in streets.

Mr Nimmons, a member of the Conservative Party's technology forum, said despite the proposals, internet service providers (ISPs) must still be "a little bit careful in what they mandate".

Consequently, he recommended broadband firms cooperate with councils rather than attempting to install equipment in areas that are resistant to the work.

"You'll see that local communities can become very highly motivated in terms of attempting to campaign against these services," Mr Nimmons cautioned.

Even though ISPs now effectively have a "free hand", they must be careful to avoid damaging the potential uptake of new broadband services by alienating prospective customers and clients, the consultant added.


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