Ofcom grants Code Powers to Voneus to accelerate broadband rollout
Voneus has been granted powers by the UK's communications regulator, Ofcom under the Electronics Communications Code (the Code) to help it accelerate the rollout of superfast broadband services to hard-to-reach UK rural communities.
Under Section 106 of the Communications Act 2003, Ofcom is permitted to grant Code Powers to providers for the purposes of running an electronic communications network or system of conduits. Subject to necessary planning requirements, these powers allow providers to construct infrastructure on public land, to take rights over private land, either with the agreement of the landowner or by applying to the County Court. It also conveys certain immunities from the Town and Country Planning legislation in the form of Permitted Development.
By making it easier for Voneus to construct its high-speed infrastructure on public land – as well as in partnership with local landowners – these Code Powers will cut the time taken to bring new communities online. Alan Seldon, customer services director at Voneus explained: ‘These Code Powers will cut the wait for the communities we serve. They make it simpler for us to expand our infrastructure into new places, meaning we can more quickly bring superfast broadband to more homes and businesses.’
The rural community broadband provider’s fixed wireless broadband services are currently available in 50 rural communities in the UK, including in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cheshire, Devon, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Somerset, South Wales, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Northamptonshire and Wiltshire. It is looking to expand in more villages and the company says it is committed to ensuring that its network infrastructure blends in with the environment, wherever possible, using telegraph poles or existing buildings to mount its antennae.
Seldon continued: ‘Our idea has always been to build out networks that are sympathetic to the surrounding environment, making use of existing buildings like churches and village halls wherever we can.’
Voneus also recently partnered with Gigaclear to help accelerate the adoption of ultrafast broadband services in rural communities across the UK (see Voneus chooses Gigaclear to accelerate ultrafast adoption).