Working with property developers

How can communications network operators best work with property developers?

Developers and operators should work together, share information early and establish best practice principles to deliver improved connectivity to local communities.


The largest network providers have agreements with both trade bodies (like the Home Builders Federation) and individual developers. These agreements promote communication, efficiency and long-term planning. We encourage smaller developers to contact operators as early as possible in the planning process.

The government worked with Openreach and the Home Builders Federation (HBF) on an agreement which aims to deliver superfast broadband connectivity to new build properties in the UK.

  • Virgin Media have a similar agreement with the HBF.
  • GTC have a similar agreement with the HBF

Openreach now offers a rate card for sites of 30 units and below, this offers certainty to developers and helps inform financing decisions.

Government proposal

To support widespread provision of gigabit capable networks, the government is considering new ‘backstop’ measures to prevent new homes being built that lack high quality connections. The policy consultation and impact assessment are found at:

Early engagement

Successful fibre deployment requires early engagement to ensure that fibre is deployed while building works are undertaken. This means preparing for fibre delivery early in the planning process alongside traditional utilities.

Early engagement is the most frequent request by developers for network operators. Local authorities have a statutory duty to publish all planning applications.

In the 2017 Budget, the Chancellor called for the creation of a “central register of residential planning permissions from local authorities to improve information on where permissions are held”. The Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is currently developing this.

Until a full central database is operational, planning applications can be searched by postcode and link through to a relevant local authority page for planning search. Network operators can use this to identify new developments that may not yet be served by broadband.

Homepage: Digital Connectivity Portal

Published 20 December 2018
Last updated 28 March 2019 + show all updates
  1. Updated note on what is available today on finding planning applications -- with explanation and links on what is available until a central registry of planning applications goes live.

  2. First published.