UK housebuilder commits to fibre broadband on new developments

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British housebuilder, Barratt Developments has committed to ensuring that the majority of new sites built every year will have access to a full-fibre broadband service from multiple networks, with 18 ISPs to choose from. 

The company is partnering with Openreach, Virgin Media and Hyperoptic to ensure that gigabit-capable broadband is installed as standard across its new developments. Barratt said it believed that this is an ‘industry-first’ unified communications provider strategy.

The ISPs taking part include: BT, Virgin Media, Hyperoptic, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone, EE, Zen, Andrews and Arnold, Aquiss, Cerberus, Fibre Net, Giganet, Orbital Net, Pine Media, Spectrum, Structured, Syscomm and Uno.

Matt Warman, Minister for Digital Infrastructure, said: ‘It is our national mission to level up the country with better broadband and a major part of this is ensuring new homes across the UK come with fast and reliable connectivity built in.’ 

Steven Boyes, chief operating officer at Barratt Developments, said: ‘Delivering full-fibre services on a site-by-site basis can cause problems for customers, so by coming together to build a unified approach with Barratt it will deliver a much better service, benefiting everyone. All three providers recognise this and have worked really hard to build the new service with us.’     

Kim Mears, MD strategic infrastructure development at Openreach, said: ‘I hope other housebuilders will now follow Barratt’s lead in making full-fibre mandatory across their own developments.’

Rob Evans, MD of network expansion at Virgin Media, said: ‘ It is essential that all new homes have access to the fastest speeds available and we will continue to work with developers across the UK to ensure more homes are connected to such vital services.’

Liam McAvoy, senior director of business development at Hyperoptic said: ‘As a growing alternative network provider, we are pleased to be part of this ‘trio’ of infrastructure options offered by Barratt. We are committed to differentiating ourselves by ensuring our router equipment is pre-installed and ready for when the home-mover walks through the door – so they can start living their normal connected life straight away.’

Richard Tang, chairman and founder at one of the 18 ISPs, Zen Internet, also responded to the announcement: ‘Today marks the beginning of the end for broadband monopolisation of new builds. Offering residents a selection of 18+ providers, including Zen Internet, not only highlights the importance of fair consumer choice but places emphasis on how ultrafast broadband availability is a key requirement in the home-buying journey.’

Image credit: ThomBal/Shutterstock.com

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