Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Half of London homes now able to access full fibre broadband after Mayor’s work with boroughs and providers [January 2023]

The press release issued by the Mayor of London on 27 January 2023.

  • Mayor and London boroughs successfully work with broadband companies to provide faster broadband across the city
  • More than 700 public buildings including libraries, youth centres and hostels will be upgraded to provide better services and increase local connectivity 
  • New planning guidance to be published to require full fibre in all new buildings later this year  

Fibre broadband connectivity in London is now at 50 per cent in London up from 4 per cent in 2017 thanks to the Mayor’s policies and his work with boroughs and broadband providers.

In 2017 the Mayor delivered on a Manifesto commitment for better broadband for Londoners by creating the first Connected London team at City Hall to support London boroughs and network operators sign legal agreements for full fibre and gigabit capable infrastructure roll-out.  In 2017 only two boroughs had these agreements in place, this currently stands at 24 boroughs with the remainder expected to sign by 2025.

City Hall estimates that upwards of £1.5bn infrastructure investment has been unlocked through negotiating these complex agreements.

Full fibre broadband means that homes can access speeds of up to a gigabit per second – more than 10 times faster than some speeds available on legacy copper connections. These faster speeds mean homes can support more devices at the same time, with much better reliability and performance.

The Mayor has focussed an additional £10 million pounds on areas with low rates of connectivity, like Enfield, Harrow, Hounslow, Kingston and Sutton who together account for just 4.16% of all full fibre available in London.

To meet London’s current and future connectivity needs, London’s Tube tunnels are hosting a new Connected London high-capacity fibre optic network. This is not only delivering 4G and 5G for Tube passengers, but creating a backbone of connectivity which is reaching further into areas of the city historically under-served by the market.

The network will take fibre directly into London’s neighbourhoods, creating new opportunities for business and domestic usage with gigabit-capable speeds that will support digital inclusion and future growth.

This network will be linked to a planned 728 public buildings, like libraries, youth centres, community buildings and hostels which will improve the service they can provide.

These are currently delivering gigabit connectivity to public buildings which then act as a gateway to surrounding residential and commercial areas.

Later this year the Mayor will be publishing guidance to the new London Plan adopted in 2021 requiring all new homes and developments to have fibre and mobile connectivity from day one. This represents one of the strongest digital connectivity policies in the UK.

Chief Digital Officer for London, Theo Blackwell MBE, said: “Huge progress is being made connecting hundreds of thousands of Londoners to hyperfast broadband thanks to dedicated work from local councils and telecoms companies. Homes across London are being connected to full fibre and we’ll see this grow even further with TfL’s ground-breaking 20-year partnership with BAI Communications.

Every night crews are out laying London’s new full fibre network across the Underground. This is delivering 4G and 5G for Tube passengers, but perhaps more fundamentally creates a backbone of connectivity which is reaching further into areas of the city historically under-served by the market.  Up to 2017 City Hall was limited to handling out vouchers to businesses for high-speed connections, but through ambitious collaboration this has changed and new investment is now benefitting Londoners directly.”