The Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013, which should speed up rural broadband deployment, has been given Royal Assent and is now part of UK law.
Now big ISPs and community broadband projects alike can get on with the rollout of superfast broadband services with less hindrance from red tape than before.
Residents of rural parts of the UK, particularly those in in National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, should benefit from superfast connections faster than before. It’s estimated that there are roughly 700,000 homes and firms located in these areas which should now stand a better chance in the superfast broadband race. While the Act has been designed to facilitate faster rollout, special consideration still needs to be given so as not to spoil areas of natural beauty.
When planning rollout in these rural areas, ISPs will still need to agree to a plan with local authorities – the bulldozers won’t be allowed to go tearing up the land without proper consultation.
The Growth and Infrastructure Act will also help to catalyse housing development. This should be of interest to ISPs like Virgin Media and Hyperoptic, which specialise rolling out in new build areas.
It’s estimated that 75,000 stalled homes can get back on track and 15,000 affordable homes will be built form new capital funding. That’s 90,000 new places that could do with some broadband.
Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said: “It will unlock British entrepreneurship that has been jammed up for too long in red tape whilst ensuring democratic checks and environmental safeguards remain in place.”
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