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3 in 4 New Build Homes Connected to Full Fibre Broadband


More than 75% (77.8%) of new homes are being built with full fibre connections, according to an analysis by Thinkbroadband.

Thinkbroadband examined the internet connections in the postcodes of the nearly 44,000 developments completed in the first half of 2019 and found that the majority of those homes come with ultrafast, full fibre broadband connections as standard. That includes more than 80% of new homes in London, the South East, and Scotland.

In comparison, last year just over 70% of new build homes were built with connections to full fibre networks, while in 2017 just 43.7% were and in 2016, the figure was only around a third.

Nationwide, full fibre coverage lags at just 7% of premises, but the government had committed to delivering universal access to ultrafast internet by 2033. In an effort to accelerate the rollout, last year’s Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review (FTIR) proposed making gigabit capable broadband connections mandatory for all new build homes.

While that requirement is still mired in consultation, the government has been urging councils to require at least superfast connections in new build properties seeking planning permissions.

Openreach’s project to deliver 3 million full fibre connections by the end of 2020 is concentrating on new build properties. The owner of the UK’s main internet infrastructure network is scheduled to fibre internet to one million plots being developed by 14,000 different developers, with 84% of these connections delivered via full fibre technology. Reportedly, 88% of new build developers they’re contracted with are opting for the gigabyte capable connections.

Meanwhile, developers have forged partnerships with ISPs to facilitate the rollout of full fibre and slower FTTC and cable connections in new homes. The Home Builders Federation, whose members build the majority of new homes across England and Wales, works with Virgin Media to connect most of these properties.

However, they have been reluctant to connect all homes, especially those in isolated rural areas, to full fibre internet, citing expense. And there are reportedly some homebuyers moving into homes expecting full fibre connections to discover they only have standard ADSL broadband.

Thinkbroadband’s analysis also that nearly 5% of new build premises—or around 22,000 properties—were being built with internet connections below speeds of 10Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream. That’s less than the minimum speeds required under the Universal Service Obligation (USO) that comes into effect next year, guaranteeing Britons the legal right to “decent and affordable” broadband. This means owners of those properties will be able to demand connections to a faster service from March—provided the cost of installation is below £3,400.

Lauren Smith
Lauren Smith

Lauren Smith has worked as a journalist and copywriter for most of the last decade, covering technology, energy, and consumer rights, in the US and UK.

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