New law makes it easier to connect blocks of flats to fibre broadband

Houses of Parliament
(Image credit: Pixabay)

Parliament has approved legislation that will make it easier for full fibre network builders to access blocks of flats to connect customers to “gigabit” broadband services across the UK.

Many fibre services are delivered via infrastructure independent of Openreach’s network which means additional cabling and sockets may be required.

The Telecoms Infrastructure Leasehold Property Bill aims to eliminate situations where a leaseholder or tenant has requested to be connected but the provider is unable to obtain permission or agree reasonable demands with the landlord.

Government fibre target

“Great news that the Telecoms Infrastructure Leasehold Property Bill has now passed through Parliament,” Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden tweeted.

“Such a technical name hides a big impact: 100,000s of people living in blocks of flats will now get access to gigabit broadband faster and more easily.”

The government hopes the legislation will help it reach its target to deliver gigabit broadband to 85% of the UK by 2025 – itself a watered-down target from its original pledge of universal coverage.

Other measures include pro-investment regulation policies, funding for projects that will aid access in remote parts of the UK are connected, and a requirement that all new houses built must have gigabit connections.

However, there are concerns that the government’s pursuit of this lower target will once again see the 1.6 million properties that do not even have superfast broadband neglected. The Public Accounts Committee also noted that just £1.2 million of the £5 billion earmarked for rural coverage will be made available between now and 2024.

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.