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Update on Building Digital UK



We asked Peter Butler (our Business Development Manager) about our response to Building Digital UK:

What is Building Digital UK?  

Building Digital UK is part of Government’s initiative to improve the UK’s digital economy and rollout full fibre broadband across the UK. At Origin, over the last three years we have been working with several Internet Service Providers to deliver full fibre networks that enable our homes to be gigabit-capable.  

We have installed full fibre networks across several estates and blocks giving the potential for 1,572 households to sign-up for a full fibre service. This is in addition to 198 new homes where fibre was installed at the time of construction.  

What does gigabit-capable mean? 

Various household members watching Netflix, scrolling through Instagram on their phone, playing online video games and buying from Amazon (all while you try to hold a work call on Teams) is not uncommon. But with all the usage, you could find yourself having with a service that is slow.  

A gigabit is the fastest and most reliable available broadband speed and is the same as 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps) - so it’s a big leap forward in connection speeds that will benefit you into the future, whether at home or work.  

Gigabit-capable means that the connection can handle speeds of 1,000 Mbps but users only sign up to speeds they can afford. As demand increases, users can choose the option to pay for more speed as required. 

Is there a cost to Origin or Residents?  

There is no installation cost to Origin or residents. We have to make time available for managing what is a complex project, which includes qualified people who have experience and expertise in Building Safety. 

Residents will only pay for the service to their own home should they wish to upgrade to fibre or get a service if they don’t already have one.  

Two of the companies we work with, Hyperoptic and Community Fibre have a lower cost offer for people on qualifying benefits. They determine these and you must have one of their networks available at your building.  

Making sure our buildings remain safe  

We remain committed to bringing full fibre capability to more households, but it must be installed in safely, particularly as in most cases fire safety work is involved and potentially electrical work.  

We have a legal requirement under the Building Safety Act to ensure that all the broadband installers we work with are qualified and competent to undertake the work and can provide the relevant certifications.      

Can my estate benefit? 

As broadband providers are profit making companies, they often determine which blocks or estates are financially viable for them to cable and we are not always able to influence this. We have managed to get some blocks installed at the request of residents, but there must already be a fibre infrastructure in the street, and this is not always the case across the UK or in parts of London and Hertfordshire.   


We are conscious that G.Network are cabling many of the streets in Camden and Islington. Some residents have ordered a service from them, but it is not possible, or cost effective, for either Origin or G.Network to manage or certify the building safety on individual installations and they have agreed that the best approach is to cable a whole building at a time.  

This will make future connections much easier when somebody orders a service. We are currently working with them on the building safety aspects and once this is completed, we will be putting together an extensive rollout programme with them.      

Is there a full fibre network at my address? 

If you live in a block our Customer Resolution Team and Neighbourhood Management Teams have a list of which buildings have access to full fibre and who the Internet Service Provider is.  Please get in touch by emailing enquiries@originhousing.org.uk, through the chatbot or whatsapp us on 07723 451924.