To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment he has made of reports of poor broadband provision for new housing developments, particularly developments in rural and sub-urban areas.
My Department brokered an agreement in February 2016 between the Home Builders Federation (HBF) and Openreach to connect new build developments to superfast broadband, and where possible, ultrafast broadband. Both Virgin Media and the utility provider GTC have made similar agreements with the HBF. Whilst these are voluntary agreements between industry stakeholders, we are monitoring the effectiveness of the agreements closely and, as part of this, reports of poor broadband provision for new housing development. We are prepared to explore further measures, including legislative options if necessary, in order to ensure residents get the connectivity they deserve.