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New Broadband Infrastructure Proposals Could Damage the Built Heritage, Says POS

Date: 7/9/2012

The need for superfast broadband throughout the country, particularly in rural reas, is recognised and cutting red tape is to be encouraged but POS is concerned that under this new initative the impact on the built heritage could be ignored.

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport has announced that "a swathe of ... red tape is to be swept away, clearing the way for the UK to lead Europe in superfast broadband.  Under the new plans:

  • broadband street cabinets and other infrastructure can be installed without the need for prior approval from the local council (except in Sites of Special Scientific Interest);
  • broadband companies will face less cost and bureaucracy in laying cables in streets; and
  • broadband cables and cabinets can be installed on or under private land without the bureaucratic burden of long-running negotiations.

John Silvester, Spokesperson for the Society, said "whilst Sites of Special Scientific Interest are to remain protected there seems to be no special measures for conservation areas, listed buildings or ancient monuments."

The Society is also aware of instances where highway safety has been the principal reason for objecting to proposed cabinet siting.

POS welcomes the intention that a group of key industry stakeholders and local government representatives is to be created to discuss the implementation procedures with a view to producing best practice guidelines that providers should adhere to when deploying this infrastructure. 


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