‘Broadband access should be the norm’ in Hampshire

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POWERS to force developers put in broadband access should be given to councils.

That is the message from Hampshire County Council after councillors agreed to call on the government to give planning authorities power to insist on it.

That call will happen if voluntary agreements between the council and developers cannot be reached.

Councillor Mel Kendal set out the pledge and it won cross-party support.

He said: ‘People who buy new homes in developments in Hampshire should expect that they will get superfast broadband and they shouldn’t have to question it.’

Seconding, Cllr Stephen Reid said: ‘You don’t expect to buy a new house without central heating, good insulation, energy efficiency and you expect good internet connection from day one.’

It comes as the government and councils are spending £26m on retrofitting superfast broadband to rural areas.

The scheme will see 94,000 premises connected that were not originally included.

Leader Roy Perry added: ‘We will use our best endeavours in our negotiations to make sure we can get this matter sorted for people of Hampshire.’