All new buildings and major renovation work must be ready for connecting to superfast broadband from 2017 under new European regulations.
Developers will have to install mini-ducts to all premises as part of rules designed to make it easier to build superfast and ultrafast broadband networks.
The ‘Less digging = more broadband’ directive mirrors some of the changes to planning laws introduced last year by the British government to speed up broadband rollout.
“According to Commission estimates, civil engineering, such as digging up roads to lay
down fibre-optic cables, accounts for up to 80 per cent of the cost of deploying high-speed networks,” said a statement from the Council of the European Union.
“Reducing these costs is expected to encourage investment in broadband rollout
and lower the threshold for market entry. More EU citizens will get broadband at a lower
cost, wherever they are.
“It should also contribute to the digitisation of public administrations, thus improving the efficiency of services provided for citizens and companies.”
The UK and other EU member countries will have to pass the directive into national law by the start of 2016.
They will be able to allow exemptions where the cost of making buildings superfast-ready are disproportionate, and for specific types of buildings such as historic buildings and holiday homes.
European countries are also being encouraged to introduce a voluntary ‘broadband-ready’ label for buildings with high-speed access which could be used by developers and estate agents.
The directive also forces utility companies and rival ISPs to share their ducts and drains to make broadband installations easier, and to share information about infrastructure to help with planning.
Network operators and ISPs will also be expected to coordinate with each other to dig up streets and other civil works to get broadband to customers faster, with an arbitrator to settle disputes between them.
Britain is ahead of the EU on similar proposals after new rules gave BT, Virgin and other telecoms network providers freedom to build new telephone poles and fibre broadband cabinets until 2017.
Spotted by thinkbroadband.