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All New Berkeley UK Homes to be Fibre Optic Broadband Compatible

Monday, June 9th, 2014 (7:47 am) - Score 1,257

Property developer Berkeley Group has become one of the first house builders to announced that it will seek to provide all new homes in the United Kingdom with “fibre optic broadband” infrastructure by 2016.

The announcement, which was made to mark the next phase of Berkeley’s on-going 10 year business plan, also appears intended to coincide with a new European Directive that requires all new buildings (including those undergoing major renovation) to be “high-speedBroadband-Ready after 31st December 2016 (here).

According to Berkeley, customers now “see the Internet as a basic utility” and have the same expectations they apply to water, gas and electricity. The developer also notes Ofcom’s claim that 73% of the UK is currently “fibre accessible” and the government’s target for 95% of homes to have access to superfast broadband (25Mbps+) by 2017.

Alongside the broadband commitment Berkeley has also outlined plans for a £2 million innovation fund to improve safety on site, a 50% increase in apprenticeships and training, an aim to achieve higher customer satisfaction ratings than Apple ™ and they also intend to introduce a “UK first” marketing policy (i.e. new homes will now be marketed domestically first).

Rob Perrins, Berkeley Group Managing Director, said:

These commitments are designed to lead and challenge the market. We need to make new housing so good it’s a vote-winner.”

However it’s interesting to note that Berkeley chose to quote Ofcom’s 73% “fibre accessible” figure, which might suggest that the group doesn’t differentiate between ultrafast fibre optic (FTTH/P/B) connections and those of their slower mass-market hybrid-fibre competitors (FTTC etc.).

At this point it’s also worth considering that a lot of new builds take place outside of already well-developed urban areas, which means that Berkeley will still have to ensure that they don’t do as some developers have done and only support basic ADSL connectivity. Never the less it looks like BT will be doing most of the leg work via FTTC and so Berkeley’s commitment shouldn’t be too tough to keep, especially if they’re happy with hybrid-fibre.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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