The state-funded Local Government Association has called for new houses to come with a clear indication of whether or not they have fibre connectivity.
Specifically this would take the form of a ‘kite mark’, which is a logo traditionally used as a mark of quality assurance in the UK. The LGA argument is that, which new-builds are required to have a certain minimal level of utilities such as water and electricity. Since connectivity is generally considered to be just as essential a commodity these days, it should be treated with equivalent priority when building a house.
“Connecting our rural residents to future-proofed, fast and reliable broadband is vital to helping them get on in life and benefit from the advantages that decent digital connectivity can bring,” said Councillor Mark Hawthorne, Chairman of the LGA’s People and Places Board
“The standard of digital connectivity we provide to our new build homes should reflect our national ambition to roll out world-class digital infrastructure across the country. Residents will no longer tolerate digital connectivity taking a backseat in developers’ plans.
“We call on the Government, homebuilders and the broadband industry to work with us and develop the details of this proposal and give homebuyers the confidence to invest in a new home, knowing they won’t be stuck in the digital slow lane.”
“Full fibre is the only infrastructure capable of delivering the reliable gigabit speed services and futureproofed capacity the UK needs,” said Mark Collins, Director Strategy & Policy at CityFibre, alongside the usual self-promotion. “We fully support the LGA’s call for the launch of a FTTP kitemark, which will give full fibre – the gold standard in internet connectivity – the status and recognition it deserves.”
According to thinkbroadband only a third of rural new-builds have FTTP and even fewer are likely to hit the UK government’s 2020 minimum broadband speed targets. The proposed kite mark is intended to make it easier for house buyers to know whether or not their prospective new house has decent broadband, but it’s hard to imagine that will be a deal-breaker. Having said that if it adds to the general fibre momentum in the UK then it’s probably a positive thing.