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New UK law to boost fiber broadband rollout

The U.K. government will propose a law to make it easier for telecom companies to install digital infrastructure in rented homes, Queen Elizabeth II said in a speech to the Houses of Parliament on Oct. 14.

"New legislation will help accelerate the delivery of fast, reliable and secure broadband networks to millions of homes," she said. The Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill will apply when landlords ignore repeated requests for access, a background note on the legislation said.

The government will also "bring forward" measures to ensure that all new homes are built with reliable and fast internet speeds, the note said.

The announcement follows Prime Minister Boris Johnson's pledge to provide full fiber broadband "for all" by 2025. U.K. telecom regulator Ofcom said in May that full fiber, or fiber-to-the-home, is available to 7% of properties. The National Infrastructure Commission, which is tasked with providing the government expert advice, said last year 100% full fiber delivery "will take 10-20 years."

British Telecom and Liberty Global PLC's Virgin Media are the largest U.K. broadband providers.