Fibre to the Premises Kitemark needed for new builds

The Local Government Association has called on housing developers to adopt a new Fibre to the Premises Kitemark to reassure homebuyers before completion that their new home will be appropriately and digitally connected.

At present, developers only have an obligation to connect water and electricity before a property is sold, but, given the growing importance of digital connectivity, the LGA is arguing that consideration should also be given to broadband connection.

Fibre to the Premises connectivity (also known as FTTP), where optical fibre is run all the way through to the premises, typically provides download speeds up to 1Gbps as well as very high upload speeds. Only 32 per cent of properties built in rural England in 2017 are connected by FTTP broadband, according to thinkbroadband. Furthermore, 17 per cent of 2017 rural new builds are unable to achieve the government’s broadband universal service obligation’s minimum download speed of 10Mbps and upload speed of 1Mbps.

The LGA said introducing a new FTTP Kitemark is a simple, common-sense proposal which will make it clear to the public whether or not their new home will have a fully future-proofed internet connection.

Mark Hawthorne, chairman of the LGA’s People and Places Board, said: “Connecting our rural residents to future-proofed, fast and reliable broadband is vital to helping them get on in life and benefit from the advantages that decent digital connectivity can bring. The standard of digital connectivity we provide to our new build homes should reflect our national ambition to roll out world-class digital infrastructure across the country. Residents will no longer tolerate digital connectivity taking a backseat in developers’ plans. We call on the government, homebuilders and the broadband industry to work with us and develop the details of this proposal and give homebuyers the confidence to invest in a new home, knowing they won’t be stuck in the digital slow lane.”

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