Rogue landlords plans to boost broadband speeds

A new law will mean an extra 3,000 residential buildings a year will be connected to gigabit speeds, helping nine million people enjoy faster broadband.

To install gigabit-capable broadband in the UK’s estimated 480,000 blocks of flats or apartments, broadband companies must get permission from the building’s owner to enter the property and undertake the necessary works.

Digital Secretary Nicky Morgan said that new measures will make it easier to install faster internet connections in blocks of flats where landlords repeatedly ignore requests for access from broadband firms. The government estimates that an extra 3,000 residential buildings a year will be connected as a result, with operators saying that 40 per cent of their requests for access currently receive no response.

To solve this, the government is going to create a cheaper and faster process for telecoms companies to get access rights. It will apply when a landlord has repeatedly failed to respond to requests for access to install a connection that a tenant within the building has asked for.

The legislation is part of the Prime Minister’s plan to level up the country through new infrastructure, and deliver nationwide coverage of gigabit speed broadband as soon as possible.

Morgan said: “We’re pushing ahead with delivering the digital infrastructure that will underpin the UK’s future growth and boost our productivity. We’ve just announced £5 billion so that people in rural communities will get gigabit speed internet at the same time as everyone else. And we’re now making sure people living in blocks of flats and apartments are not left behind either, and can reap the huge benefits of the fastest and most resilient internet connections.”

Elsewhere, following a seven-year investment programme, Hull has become the first city in the UK where everyone can get full fibre broadband.

Boris Johnson has promised that everyone in the UK will have access to this ultrafast service by 2025, with the announcement causing conservatism from BT and other internet providers given the challenging scale of the task.

However in Hull, it has been local telecoms firm Kcom which has laid fibre down every street to reach 200,000 homes. Once owned by the city council and known as Kingston Communications,the company formed an ambitious plan in 2012, laying fibre to every home.