Digital Connectivity Division has been involved in discussions with the UK Government around its intention to mandate gigabit capable connectivity in new build housing developments since the launch of their policy consultation in 2018. In the consultation response published on 17 March 2020, the UK Government announced their intention to amend building regulations. Since this is devolved, their legislation has been implemented in England only.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) led the implementation of secondary legislation in England and engaged with Building Standards Division (BSD) within the Scottish Government and representatives of the Welsh government to explore implementation of proposals to mandate gigabit capable connectivity up to a cost cap in the devolved nations.
As this is a niche technical area, specific consultation with the general public has not been carried out.
Digital Connectivity officials have held initial discussions around the policy with the following network operators:
- Virgin Media O2
The aim of discussions with the telecoms sector to date has been to understand the new build within Scotland, how this varies from the rest of the UK, and to understand changes in market conditions since the UK Government initially consulted on their policy on a UK wide basis in 2018.
Initial engagement with the housebuilding sector has included:
- FMB Scotland
- Homes for Scotland
Through these discussions, we have confirmed that the large housing developers have existing commercial arrangements in place with operators to install gigabit-capable infrastructure.
The Scottish Government’s Building Standards Division maintains a list of organisations that have expressed a specific interest in building standards and regulations. Stakeholders on the list are directly alerted to any forthcoming consultation in areas that they have expressed an interest in. As well as directly contacting stakeholders with a known interest, forthcoming consultation exercises are also promoted on the BSD homepage of the Scottish Government website.
The full consultation package is published in different formats on the Scottish Government website (http://consult.gov.scot). The consultation period will run for 12 weeks, commencing on 19 September 2023 and closing on 12 December 2023. Requests for printed copies of consultation papers, issued without charge, may be made direct to the Digital Connectivity Division. Contact details are appended.
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