UK Requires Most New Homes to Be Built With Gigabit Internet Support


To promote high-speed broadband, the UK government is requiring nearly all newly built homes in the country to install access to a gigabit internet connection. 

About 12% of new homes—or about 25,300—built in the UK each year lack the infrastructure to support gigabit internet. So the UK amended building regulation laws that date back to 2010.

“The updated regulations mean that more people moving into new homes will have a gigabit-capable broadband connection ready when construction is completed, avoiding the need for costly and disruptive installation work after the home is built,” the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said in an announcement(Opens in a new window)

The new regulation requires home developers to spend at the most £2,000 ($2,437) per home on gigabit connection costs. “It is estimated over 98% of premises fall within this cap, meaning moving into a new build property without lightning-fast internet speeds will become a thing of the past for the vast majority of people across England,” the department added. 

For homes that fall out of the cap—likely residences built in remote areas—the developers still need to install the next fastest broadband connection available. Doing so should also ensure the newly built home has the ducts and chambers needed to one day facilitate gigabit internet. 

The US, on the other hand, has no such law. Instead, the FCC plans on spending billions to subsidize the infrastructure needed to bring high-speed internet to many rural areas of the country, which currently suffer slow broadband speeds. In other cases, gigabit internet is available, but lack of competition keeps costs high.

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In the meantime, some rural users in the US are signing up for SpaceX’s high-speed satellite internet system Starlink, although network congestion remains a problem.  

In the UK, to help existing homeowners and renters receive faster broadband, the government passed another law that allows a broadband provider to install equipment in a block of flats when a tenant requests it. Previously, the broadband provider needed the landlord’s permission to do so, but in many cases, the provider would receive no response.

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