Government to expand gigabit broadband, making it easier to access infrastructure on private land • CableFree TV

Published by
Peter Kavinsky

The UK government has announced plans to make it easier for telecom operators to access telegraph poles on private land, as part of a wider initiative to bring high-speed broadband to every corner of the country.

The announcement was made as part of the so-called “mini budget”, which was created in part to overcome the snowball of the cost-of-living crisis and avert the effects of the economic downturn. Measures announced today by Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng include lowering the base income tax rate and freezing electricity bills, as well as lifting rules limiting bank bonuses. However, from a technological point of view, the government’s eponymous “growth plan” outlined its intentions for critical infrastructure, including amending Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Billcurrently making its way through the House of Lords.

Friction

UK broadband speed among the slowest in Europewhich has led the UK on initiatives such as £5 billion gigabit projectwhich recently signed its first contract with connect rural areas to high-speed broadband.

Elsewhere, the UK government has handed over new access to physical infrastructure (PIA) regulations back in 2019 promote increased competition in fiber optic networks. This essentially allows third parties to run their own fiber optic cables in existing duct infrastructure or attach their own equipment to existing telegraph poles. It has open to private companies implement your own infrastructure without having to start from scratch.

Today’s news essentially builds on that, lowering the barriers for telcos to renovate or repair telegraph poles that are needed to spread the internet when they are located on private land.

Currently, companies must obtain permission from landowners to install or maintain telegraph poles located on their property. If the landowner refuses, the telecom operator can still seek access through the courts, but this can be a lengthy and difficult process. This becomes more evident when you consider that the UK government is trying to expand the country’s access to ultra-fast broadband to 85% by 2025, up from 70% today.

The government does not specify exactly how it plans to facilitate access to telegraph poles on private land, but that could include removing at least some of the bureaucracy and filling out permit forms.

Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at cablefreetv.org

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