Westminster Council gives Government broadband plans thumbs down
City council claims new proposals would result in the creation of "eyesores" in local areas.
Westminster City Council has hit out at Government plans to allow comms providers to build out broadband networks without seeking permission from local councils first.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced proposals on Friday to speed up the roll out of superfast broadband on private land and in public areas.
Under the new plans, broadband cables and street cabinets could be installed, except on Sites of Special Scientific Interest, without the permission of local councils.
The Government justified the move by claiming the deployment of superfast broadband is being held up by bureaucracy and red tape.
However, Councillor Philippa Roe, leader of Westminster City Council, has taken issue with the plans and aired concerns about the impact it could have on the local area.
It is more important that councils work in partnership with broadband companies.
“We are concerned the ability of local people to oppose commercial broadband boxes, of which some can be large eyesores, will be diluted by these proposals,” said Roe in a statement to IT Pro.
“It is more important that councils work in partnership with broadband companies to locate infrastructure sensibly.”
Roe also questioned whether further Government intervention on the broadband issue is really needed.
“It will only result in a gradual and prolonged development [of networks] across the UK, rather than the big bang in broadband that the UK needs,” said Roe.
“Under the existing rules, council’s such as Westminster are already leading a revolution in high-speed broadband, helping businesses connect.”