Ministers have brokered a new deal between BT’s Openreach division and the Home Builders Federation which will simplify the installation of super-fast fibre broadband for new-build properties.
Under the deal Openreach will make a “significant contribution” to the installation costs before asking property developers to pay. It’s expected this will see Openreach foot the entire bill for connecting around half of all new properties.
For those sites where developer funding is needed, homebuilders will have access to a ‘rate card’ from Openreach which sets out the fixed cost contributions required of them.
As part of the deal, the Home Builders Federation will work with its members to stress the importance of planning for connectivity early in the development.
The deal will maximise the numbers of new homes which can benefit from super-fast broadband.
Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: “The Government’s ambition to build 1 million new homes over the course of this Parliament will house families and future generations to come.
“Broadband connectivity is just one thing that home buyers now expect when buying a new build, so this industry-led push to make superfast, or indeed ultrafast, broadband speeds available by default in new homes represents a very important step in meeting the UK’s digital needs.”
Clive Selley, CEO Openreach, said: “This is an important step towards bringing fibre broadband to as many new build properties as possible.
“We recognise that high speed broadband connectivity is a major factor for homeowners when deciding to buy a house. That’s why we’re offering to deliver fibre to all new build developments either for free or as a co-funded model.
“With the support of the HBF we’ve delivered a series of measures to give developers greater clarity, choice and more funding.
“Today’s announcement underlines Openreach’s commitment to further extend its fibre network – which reaches more than 24m premises – to benefit even more communities across the country.
Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the HBF added: “Housebuilders are constantly striving to deliver on and surpass the expectations of customers as we continue to see housing supply grow.
“Broadband speeds are an increasingly important factor in the home buying process and this offer to developers will see more new build purchasers benefit from the very best connectivity to go alongside the many other advantages of purchasing a brand new home.”