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Up to 25% of new builds still can't get superfast broadband – study

I don't care about running water, where are my internets?

By Kat Hall

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Up to a quarter of new builds still lack access to superfast internet, according to a study by comparison site Thinkbroadband.

The research, based on data from the Office for National Statistics, estimates that one in four to one in five new premises don't have provision for 30Mbps.

It said: "What is clear from our data is that a lot of new premises are slipping through the commercial broadband roll-out nets and government and planning authorities need to address this now, otherwise the periodic stories in the press about people buying new homes and being stuck with slow broadband will continue.

"It is impossible to imagine 1 in 4 new homes being built without access to mains water and it should be the same with superfast broadband."

An EU directive adopted into UK law is supposed to mean that all newly constructed buildings are "equipped with a high-speed-ready in-building physical infrastructure, up to the network termination points", as noted by ISP Review.

The research also found a rise in the proportion of developments making use of "full fibre". Some 35.5 per cent have coverage, compared with just 3 per cent nationally.

BT's Openreach has said 800,000 rural and new-build developments will now get fibre by 2020, with a further 1.7 million receiving it through the city building programme, while it is already on track to reach 600,000 under existing deployment plans.

Andrew Ferguson, editor of Thinkbroadband, said: "A full fibre BT agreement was made in April 2017, I believe, after a weaker policy that was in place previous years and my understanding is that this needs developers to inform Openreach nine months ahead of the first property being moved into. So if a developer had noticed in April as soon as the new policy appeared the benefits would only just be appearing."

Currently 95 per cent of the country has access to superfast broadband. However, according to Ofcom, just over a million premises in Blighty, or 4 per cent, cannot get speeds of 10Mbps. ®

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