To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

EU overlords force UK property devs to add superfast broadband

EU flag (Credit: Flickr user Rock Cohen)

New laws to be introduced in 2016 will require all new developments and renovations to include access to superfast broadband

New buildings and any properties that go through major renovations will be required to have superfast broadband access after the EU passed new laws.

The new legislation will ensure that any property development in the UK is bundled with the latest broadband infrastructure, adding more people to ever-growing superfast networks.

The UK will be forced to adopt the new EU legislation by June 2016 with any building permits submitted after December 2016 obligated to include superfast broadband access. In the UK telecoms regulator Ofcom defines superfast broadband as anything above 30Mbps

It isn’t yet clear how EU member states will apply the new EU directives into national law, but it has been made clear that certain projects will be exempt. If the cost of compliance is too high, or a building is deemed historic or a monument or used by the military it won’t need to comply.

The EU explained that the new law would help the roll out of “high-speed” broadband networks.

“New multi-dwelling buildings and multi-dwelling buildings subject to major renovation should be equipped with an access point, by which the provider may access the in-building infrastructure,” it said.

Law firm Pinsent Masons argued that the new laws would have a big impact on renovations, but were unlikely to make much difference to new property developments in the UK.

“In my experience, major new office, retail and residential developments almost invariably include such infrastructure,” senior associate Dev Desai said.

“However, the requirement to install in-building physical infrastructure where major renovation works are carried out is likely to have greater impact. I expect a great deal of debate on what constitutes a ‘major renovation’ in this context.”

Read more