A new national strategy for telecoms has been released by the government and includes proposals to make full fibre broadband a requirement for all new homes.
A complete switchover from the current copper-based networks to full fibre in the UK could take place by 2030, with new-build homes being prioritised alongside remote rural areas, says a new report released by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) this week.
The changes could see it becoming mandatory for all newly built properties to be equipped with full fibre, top-speed broadband, providing everyone with “world-class connectivity” after it emerged that the UK is currently lagging behind much of the rest of Europe with just 4% full fibre connections – compared to 89% in Portugal, 71% in Spain and 28% in France, where it is increasing quickly.
Connectivity and construction
The news could provide another major selling point for generating more interest and demand for new-build homes among the country’s buyers, boosting the government’s ability to meet it’s current housebuilding target of 300,000 homes a year.
It seems that “5G” connectivity is also on the agenda as part of the plan, which comes under the government’s Industrial Strategy, with the new full fibre infrastructure labelled “vital” to underpin 5G coverage which will be significantly faster than 3G and 4G. The current target is to connect 15 million premises to full fibre broadband by 2025.
DCMS Secretary of State, Jeremy Wright, said: “We want everyone in the UK to benefit from world-class connectivity no matter where they live, work or travel.
“This radical new blueprint for the future of telecommunications in this country will increase competition and investment in full fibre broadband, create more commercial opportunities and make it easier and cheaper to roll out infrastructure for 5G.”
Boosting networks in the countryside
There will also be a focus on getting better connections to rural and remote areas of the country, with the government promising to invest in both commercially viable areas and hard to reach locations at the same time.
Councillor Mark Hawthorne, chairman of the Local Government Association’s (LGA) people and places board, commented: “Connecting our communities to future-proofed, fast and reliable broadband is vital to helping them get on in life and take advantage of the social and economic opportunities that decent digital connectivity can bring.”
“Councils also support the government’s decision to prioritise future funding for the deployment of full fibre on the most difficult to reach premises.”