Home internet in the UK is getting an upgrade. Two new regulations will now require most new housing construction projects to include gigabit internet, while pre-existing tenants will also have easier access to a high-speed connection.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media, & Sport announced the new laws earlier this week, with ministers having amended Building Regulations 2010 to include the first of two new laws—that new housing developers in England must future-proof new construction by including a gigabit internet connection.
Connection costs will be capped at £2,000, and approximately 98% of properties fall under this new amendment. The department says that gigabit broadband is now available in 72% of the UK, and this new law will allow people moving into new homes an immediate connection to the Internet.
Scotland and Northern Ireland set their own building regulations so it’s uncertain whether those regions will follow along with the new requirements.
“Nothing should stop people from seizing the benefits of better broadband, whether it is an unresponsive landlord or a property developer’s failure to act,” said Digital Infrastructure Minister Julia Lopez in a press release. “Thanks to our new laws, millions of renters will no longer be prevented from getting a broadband upgrade due to the silence of their landlord, and those moving into newly built homes can be confident they’ll have access to the fastest speeds available from the day they move in.”
Likewise, the department says that the Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Act of 2021 (TILPA) will help tenants in rental homes get access to faster internet more easily. This law allows a telecommunications firm to obtain a court order to enter a property if a landlord is unresponsive.
Previously, tenants were required to wait for the landlord’s approval before a new internet connection could be installed, and the department says that telecommunication companies would receive no response from a landlord 40% of the time.
TILPA is now being enforced in England and the Building Regulations amendments went into effect on December 26, 2022.