A new EU Directive designed to promote the widespread adoption of broadband will have an impact on anyone developing or occupying new buildings.
The directive, first proposed two years ago and finally launched in February 2014, was published last month in the EU’s Official Journal. Member states now have until 1 January 2016 to transpose it into national legislation.
Intended to reduce the cost barriers to broadband access, it targets four areas. Firstly, legislation obliging utility providers in sectors such as energy and transport to share their distribution infrastructure with other service providers. Secondly, better coordination of civil works amongst media carries. Thirdly, faster approval of permits. And, finally, most importantly for our industry, equipping new buildings (and properties that are the subject of major renovation) with high-speed infrastructure and open network access. On all new projects, developers will now be responsible for providing mini-ducts to the premises as part of the rules designed to make it easier to build superfast and ultrafast broadband networks.
It will be interesting to see how happy service providers will be with having to share their own ducts, poles and masts with other providers.
The obligation is to ensure that all new buildings and properties subject to major renovation works are equipped with a high-speed-ready in-building physical infrastructure, up to the network termination points. This infrastructure also needs to cater for multi-tenanted buildings which are likely to require multiple network termination points, resulting in a more extensive infrastructure.
Consideration is currently being given to a certification scheme that will distinguish buildings as High-Speed Broadband ready. This designation will increasingly become a priority for occupiers.
As for what will be proposed in the UK, watch this space.
Link to Q3 newsletter homepage