New planning changes to boost digital connectivity & smart sensors in future developments
Today the Mayor’s London Plan comes into force. Under new requirements, for the first time, London will have specific planning policy to drive full fibre connectivity and improve mobile network coverage as well as encouraging smart city technology to improve data on the environment.
Full fibre as minimum in new developments
Policy SI6 of the London Plan sets a minimum standard for every new home and business in London to be able to receive full fibre broadband connections. Every new building in London will be assured access to fast and reliable and affordable broadband, with great download and upload speeds, and a choice of different Internet Service Providers.
Not only will that benefit the residents and businesses of the new development, but by pulling the wholesale infrastructure into the area to serve the new building, this makes installing connections to any surrounding homes or businesses, more affordable.
“The provision of digital infrastructure is as important for the proper functioning of development as energy, water and waste management services and should be treated with the same importance.” paragraph 9.6.1, The London Plan 2021
Mobile coverage in and around new buildings
The policy will require the developers to work with mobile network operators and make sure a new building has the signal it needs, and that the building will not block signal to the surrounding area — known as the ‘shadowing effect’. By developers and mobile working together early in the planning process they can make sure that mobile infrastructure is in a good location and blends in with the local area.
Adoption of smart sensors for environmental data
The London Plan also helps the Mayor realise his ambition for London to be the smartest city in the world, by encouraging the adoption of smart technology to meet climate change challenges, including the collection, analysis and sharing of data on the performance of the built and natural environment, for example, water and energy consumption, waste, air quality, noise and congestion.
The Plan encourages developers to adopt smart infrastructure, such as sensors, to enable better collection and monitoring of such environmental data.
Digital Access for All
Nobody in this day and age should move into a newly built property to find they don’t have high speed internet, or their mobile signal is poor.
These new planning changes form part of the Mayor’s Digital Access for All programme, improving internet speeds and signals across the rest of the city, providing essential digital skills and a device to those who need them most.