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Improved deal should mean superfast broadband for new build premises
Friday 05 February 2016 17:00:19 by Andrew Ferguson

The surprise news of the week is a new deal that should bring an end to the days of buying a new home and being stuck with ADSL type speeds. The DCMS announcement is a little unclear in its wording and we have waited until getting a bit more detail from Openreach before running with the news.

The first part that needs to be addressed is that while the press announcement may make it sound like builders and developers only have Openreach as a choice, the new deal does not preclude the competing operators like IFNL, Virgin Media and Hyperoptic and others from being chased by developers before building work starts to strike a deal. This deal is very much voluntary, but any developer who does not engage with Openreach or another supplier is likely to find lots of people not buying the homes. Perhaps one reason that DCMS has concentrated on Openreach is that invariably when there are complaints about problems with slow broadband on new estates everyone blames Openreach or BT.

"This is an important step towards bringing fibre broadband to as many new build properties as possible.

We recognise that high speed broadband connectivity is a major factor for homeowners when deciding to buy a house. That’s why we’re offering to deliver fibre to all new build developments either for free or as a co-funded model.

With the support of the HBF (Home Builders Federation) we’ve delivered a series of measures to give developers greater clarity, choice and more funding. Today’s announcement underlines Openreach’s commitment to further extend its fibre network – which reaches more than 24m premises – to benefit even more communities across the country.

Clive Selley, CEO Openreach

The new deal will very much rely on developers liaising with Openreach at least nine months ahead of the expected date for the first people to move in, and what Openreach will offer will vary according to the size of the development. In cases where developers are asked to co-fund a superfast solution and the developer turns this down it is very likely that ADSL/ADSL2+ speeds will be all that is supplied, i.e. the agreement is not a build a house anywhere in the UK and Openreach guarantee to deliver superfast broadband at any cost.

So while we have no actual indications of the costs to developers, we have some detail we can share namely:

  • The scheme is voluntary for developers, but if co-funding is needed to bring fibre based broadband a development and no agreement is reached, Openreach will default to copper based connectivity.
  • For new developments of under 100 premises there should be no charge if already inside the existing fibre footprint. The issue of superfast speeds is a little woolly, so it may be that there is an option for guaranteed superfast speeds with some co-funding, or rely on existing infrastructure and have part of the a development superfast and others in the 10 to 24 Mbps range.
  • For developments of over 100 premises due to the amount of new infrastructure needed a variable amount of co-funding will be needed, FTTC and FTTP will be offered at the same cost on the rate card.
  • For developments of over 250 premises, there will be no charge, as we presume the scale is getting into the commercially viable area on its own and FTTP will be the preferred solution.

So hopefully with the new rate card that will outline the various options available and an online planning tool developers will look to embrace broadband with the same level of importance they give to dressing the show homes. The situation for the competing FTTH operators may be a bit harder as Openreach has upped its game but given the pressure from the public and MP's this had to be expected.

With better connectivity options for new builds available and 1 million premises to be built as promised by the Government by 2020 we will soon start to find out if things are changing and how things will work on complex large developments which have multiple developers and may deliver 500 premises over a four year period in batches of 50.

Has anyone categorically promised superfast broadband for every new home built by 2020, alas no, but hopefully these changes will make it a lot rarer to find new homes with bad broadband in a year or two.

Comments

Posted by leexgx 10 months ago
i found this to be very annoying when the building houses they do pay any attention to the broadband , i know of band new housing areas where best speed they ever get is 0.5mb broadband that is if it works

some new housing developments are getting Virgin Pre cabled and a VDSL cab (which should be the norm)
Posted by Blackmamba 10 months ago
Hi Broadband Watchers.
At last it looks like they Openreach will be bringing back the old system of having a building site liaison officer (Dept) who provided materials for the copper lines and ducting with road boxes and worked with the site managers which was a free service but it looks like money will be involved for the provision of fibre. This charge will be in the price of the home the same as water.
Posted by fastman 10 months ago
Blackmamb they are now called NSR's new sites reps and they have never been away so not sure what you are referring to again
Posted by ksec 10 months ago
Exactly. New home should have wired CAT6a/8 build in. It is not expensive, and comparatively small in the housing money you buy. We have Electrical Wiring and Telephone Wiring, Why not Network?

Every home should have a "outpost" that allow ISP to connect to their home without iSP going into the house. Making installation much quicker.
Posted by godsell4 10 months ago
Why was this not dealt with via existing building regulations and build control officers. Simply state, planning will not be approved unless FTTC or FTTP was included. Doing that would make the HBF members together with the ISP's get a little creative you would hope.

So has there been a subsidy agreed for this? This should not be needed, honestly the cost this adds to building of pathways/roads is negligible in comparison to other costs.
Posted by olicuk 10 months ago
Where this should help most is larger >250 home developments, with Openreach recognising the full scale of the complete site and not just the here and now. With intermediate sized sites it depends how much sway the HBF have with their members, though if I recall they've previously taken the members side and pointed the finger at OR.

For the cost of provision (say £100/home in a medium site) it's ridiculous it has taken this long, but good to see progress. The requirement for 9mo notice is understandable for FTTH, but will FTTC otherwise be offered or just ADSL? Copper could mean either.
Posted by olicuk 10 months ago
Show homes opened on another new 500 home development here last weekend, and amazingly they have built CAT6 and separate Virgin cabling to a number of points around the homes. I know Virgin has just installed new duct to the site, and OR appeared to do some fibre works for it. But the homes have copper cables coming out the wall to the OR ducting and no internal provision for housing a fibre modem. Why oh why,so close. Waiting to see if they've installed a VDSL2 cab.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 10 months ago
Where copper is mentioned it means ADSL/ADSL2+

On the subsidy, no Government subsidy
Posted by Blackmamba 10 months ago
Hi Fastman.
I would think that the system would cover all address that require a fibre/ copper connection that are situated over a spur distance from Openreach network ,again this is in operation in Surrey see Openreach new Web/site showing address status. Two Exchange areas Wormley and Elstead on long lines last section payed by customer.
Posted by fastman 10 months ago
olicuck which development please Show homes opened on another new 500 home development here last weekend, . Why oh why,so close. Waiting to see if they've installed a VDSL2 cab. -- showhomes will not be on same cab ans development normally -- is there a new copper cab on sitre
Posted by fastman 10 months ago
blackmamba dont' know what you talking about frankly again -- the article is around new build

no idea what wormley and elstead have to do with anything -- nor is that the case
Posted by Moradin 10 months ago
New house builders should have to mandatorily install fibre into the building.

Its the only way to improve speeds long term. and a small amount of cash compared to the build costs.
Posted by bezuk 10 months ago
Can't happen soon enough. A friend completed on a new build the week before Christmas, and six weeks later the postcode isn't detected by Openreach's website. Despite the flat having phone sockets, Openreach seem to know nothing about it and are doing full site survey etc.
Posted by olicuk 10 months ago
Fastman, it's David Wilson Spiers Meadow in Basingstoke. About 750m of ducting was installed for Virgin Media last June (bit.ly/SPMVirg), and soon after a shorter section by Openreach taking the same route onto site. This route will eventually be a road from an existing development but currently is mud (until a later batch of houses are put up), so the cabling vanishes from view. First properties also occupied last week, but apparently will be a month or more before they're connected up.
Posted by brusuth 10 months ago
Could councils not use planning legislation like they do with minimum amount of parking spaces and other stipulations.. Start suggesting FTTH for medium to large apartment blocks and VDSL/VM minimum for everything else. Plus CAT6 from near main hall socket / utility cupboard to at least the living room.
Posted by fastman 10 months ago
olicuk what cab does it suggest the development is connected to
Posted by olicuk 10 months ago
I'm 99% sure it will get a new cabinet, it's 400+ home development on a greenfield site. That's why it's disappointing it doesn't look like being FTTP. 101 and 92 are the closest cabs, but don't think either of those will feed it.
Posted by leexgx 10 months ago
@olicuk

i would not bet on a new cab been installed i seen large estates been slaved off up to 6 cabs when the whole site should of had 1 or 2 new cabs to cover each half of the estate majority been stuck on under 1mb/s speeds and No virgin installed (i seen small estates run on 3-4 cabs so half of them stuck with ADSL at under 1mb/s)

it should be mandatory now when installing an new estate that VDSL (above 10mb) and cable is pre piped in
Posted by fastman 10 months ago
olicuk I will have a look is there a green box at entrance to the site
Posted by fastman 10 months ago
show home proably will be on an existing cab that's quite normal
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