In a move that will help future new homes built in Andover, Hampshire County Council is taking action to ensure that new homes being built and sold in Hampshire have access to superfast broadband.
It has pledged to work with its district and borough councils, developers and broadband suppliers to make access to superfast speeds a requirement from the day the property is occupied on new developments.
If voluntary agreements cannot be reached, it will be calling on Government to give councils legal powers to insist on it through their planning processes, especially on large scale developments.
The pledge was set out in a Notice of Motion from Cabinet member Cllr Mel Kendal, which won cross party backing from the County Council on 27 November.
The planned intervention over new homes and businesses is in addition to the £26 million investment currently committed by the County Council with Government, district and borough contributions, into ‘retro fitting’ gaps in mainly rural areas. The overall programme is expected to bring high speeds to around 94,000 premises that were not included in the commercial roll out.
“People who buy new homes in new developments in Hampshire should expect that they will get superfast broadband and they shouldn’t have to question it,” said Cllr Kendal.
Seconding the motion, Cllr Stephen Reid said “You don’t expect to buy a new house without central heating, good insulation, energy efficiency and you expect good internet connection from day one. We are spending £21 million to retro-fit homes with targets of 95 per cent coverage and taking one step forward while developers are putting up hundreds of new homes without superfast broadband that take us two steps backwards.”
Council Leader Roy Perry said people moving into new homes had every right to expect to have fast broadband. “We will use our best endeavours in our negotiations to make sure we can get this matter sorted for people of Hampshire,” he said.
Watch the full debate on the webcast (2hrs 49 mins)