Broadband providers set out obstacles in letter to Prime Minister

The UK’s broadband industry has published an open letter to the Prime Minister asking for more support for the roll-out of full fibre broadband ‘for all’ by 2025.

Before winning the Conservative Party leadership vote and becoming Prime Minister, Boris Johnson stated that the government’s previous plan for full-fibre roll-out by 2033 was ‘unambitious’, calling instead for everyone to have access to ultrafast broadband by 2025.

Now, the broadband industry has published an open letter in response, claiming that the government must deal with four key issues to make Johnson’s plan possible. The letter was signed by the heads of the Internet Service Providers Association and the CEO of the Federation of Communication Services, as well as the head of the Independent Networks Co-operative Association.

Firstly, the letter calls for reform of the current planning policies to compel landlords to give access to broadband providers if a tenant or occupant is requesting an upgrade. Currently, internet service providers must request a ‘wayleave agreement’ from landlords, which can cause major delays.

The second issue is that a large number of new homes are being built without gigabit-capable internet connections while the government still works on its report into whether this should be mandatory in new builds.

Thirdly, The broadband providers claim that a skills shortage is still a major issue and that this could worsen after Brexit. They have requested that more investment be made into training and that they should be able to continue to recruit from abroad after we leave the EU.

Lastly, they called for the abolition of business rates applied to fibre infrastructure.