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Oscar Williams

News editor

Sadiq Khan plans to ensure every new London home has full-fibre broadband

Property developers will be required to work with network operators to deliver full-fibre broadband connections to all new London homes, under plans drawn up by mayor Sadiq Khan.

NS Tech understands developers will not be burdened with the cost of laying down the infrastructure, but will be expected to design developments in a way that supports the ultra-fast connections.

The proposal forms part of a new City Hall roadmap, titled Smarter London Together, aimed at making the capital “the smartest city in the world”.

“Changes to the Mayor’s draft London Plan will propose planning policies to require new development across London to provide full fibre connectivity to the home,” the roadmap states.

Full-fibre supports gigabit download speeds, but just five per cent of residences in London currently have access to the service – a lower proportion than in many European capitals.

Khan has previously said that by enabling more Londoners to work from home, ultrafast broadband could help reduce congestion and tackle the capital’s air pollution crisis.

“The air in London is a problem for people; it’s a killer,” Khan told an audience of tech professionals last year. “Does tech provide a solution? […] If we treated ultrafast broadband as a central part of utilities, more people could work from home.”

The Smarter London Together roadmap features more than 20 initiatives addressing some of the city’s biggest challenges, such as air pollution, urban design and digital connectivity.

In addition to securing full-fibre connections for new homes, the roadmap outlines plans for Transport for London and councils to deploy 4G on public buildings and existing infrastructure.

The mayor has also pledged to invest £365,000 in a new London Office of Data Analytics, in an effort to bring together expertise from local authorities, universities and the tech sector.

Other proposals include the creation of a London cyber security strategy and a Civic Innovation Challenge for establishing the capital as a test-bed for innovation.

“As one of the world’s leading technology hubs, we need to be bold and think big, to experiment and try things out that have not been done elsewhere,” said Khan. “I see London’s future as a global ‘test-bed city’ for civic innovation, where the best ideas are developed, amplified and scaled.”

“To solve the biggest problems our great city faces, I am calling for an ever-more collaborative approach than ever,” he added. “We need our public services, major universities and technology community to mobilise their resources in new ways and partner with us to make London a fairer and more prosperous place.”