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Hampshire County Council has called on the UK government to grant “clear legal powers” to insist that ?superfast broadband is made available to new homes.

The demands come as part of the council's ambitions to increase coverage of superfast broadband in the county from 80 per cent, to at least 95 per cent by the end of 2018 - a move that has already attracted £30 million of public funds from both central and local government.

Councils are already being pushed to ensure that superfast broadband is made a part of the planning process, while forthcoming EU measures will require all new buildings to be suitable for high-speed broadband from 2017.

Hampshire is subsequently calling for more powers to help it enforce this.

Although primarily focusing on the 25,000 new homes set to be built in the county over the next five years, it added that it was also looking at measures that would allow the retrofitting of existing developments.

Roy Perry, Leader of Hampshire County Council, said: “With over 450 housing developments of all sizes in the pipeline, the County Council believes that developers, as well as residents, would benefit if superfast broadband was widely available at new sites.

"Developers are taking more and more steps in this direction, and we would like to see this happen at a faster pace. Therefore, we will encourage infrastructure providers to work with developers to ensure these services are there to meet public demand.”

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