UK Fibre Connectivity Forum to work with property sector for full fibre?

Created March 5, 2020
News and Business

The UK Fibre Connectivity Forum (UKFCF) has this month said it is looking to collaborate with construction firms, property developers, planners and landlords to drive efficiencies into delivering on the UK government’s targets to be Gigabit capable by 2025.

The UKFCF believes that now that the switch to full fibre from the ageing copper network is proposed for 2027, the race is on to ensure that all corners of the UK have Gigabit capable broadband services available. In this context, a number of government drivers and initiatives are designed to support this outcome. Included are funding, as well as legislative changes around easier access to properties. There are also government proposals to introduce a ‘New Homes Ombudsman’ whose remit could extend to adjudicating on complaints regarding the provision of “required or promised” broadband connectivity performance*.

“The mission of the UK Fibre Connectivity Forum is to make it easier for our industry to deliver full fibre by collaborating and sharing best practice,” commented Askar Sheibani, Chair of UKFCF and CEO of the Comtek Group. “This move is simply an extension of this ethos across sectors, as we can see how important it is to drive efficiencies across the board if we are to meet the government’s goals.”

Daren Baythorpe, UKFCF Board Member and CEO of network operator ITS added: “We really believe that it’s important that we work together with the property sector, sharing our collective expertise. Connectivity is the fourth utility, and whatever the purpose of a building, whoever occupies it will expect it in the same way they demand water, electricity or gas. It benefits everyone – developers, landlords, tenants, owner occupiers, the network operators building the infrastructure, as well as service providers. It will drive down the cost of deployment, ensure connectivity is delivered where it is needed, and at pace.”

The UKFCF is an association of interested parties striving for full fibre connectivity and 5G across the UK. This includes fibre network and mobile operators, fibre and civil construction companies, investors, infrastructure companies and subject matter experts, as well as local and national government departments. The Forum’s vision is to establish full fibre connectivity across all parts of the UK for both commercial and residential purposes.

*Earlier, on February 24th 2020, the UK government announced that homebuyers who are faced with shoddy building work in their new homes will in future be protected by a new, independent Ombudsman. In a published consultation, it was stated that: “We will expect the New Homes Ombudsman’s remit to include complaints involving fuel, energy and broadband performance where expectations fall below that which is required or promised to be delivered by developers.”

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This article was written
by John Williamson

John Williamson is a freelance telecommunications, IT and military communications journalist. He has also written for national and international media, and been a telecoms advisor to the World Bank.