People moving house will be able to easily compare broadband speeds at different addresses before buying for the first time under government plans being debated today.
Internet firms will be ordered to hand over data on broadband speeds for individual addresses rather than just geographical areas under changes contained in the Digital Economy Bill.
It is hoped the move will encourage price comparison websites to create easy to use searches of broadband speeds at different properties.
A body which represents hundreds of councils praised the move and said people would benefit from having the broadband data at their “fingertips.
The Telegraph launched a Better Broadband campaign earlier this year over fears that rural communities would not automatically be given improvements in internet speeds.
The draft Digital Economy Bill, which is being debated in the House of Commons today, includes a measure to improve access to data.
Currently, if a house-hunters wants to check how quick broadband is at a property of interest they must individually approach every different internet firm.
Ministers are proposing a change that would give Ofcom, the communications regulator, powers to force internet companies to publish any information held by the provider.
It is hoped making internet firms hand over broadband speeds broken down by property will allow people to make more informed choices when it comes to moving.
Mark Hawthorne, a spokesman for the Local Government Association – which represents more than 370 councils – said: The quality of digital connectivity can be markedly different from area to area with some households being able to access superfast broadband speeds whilst others can only achieve substantially less.
We support the Government’s aims to allow Ofcom to demand providers open up their premise-level data on broadband so that residents can more easily compare who will provide the best service to their home – not just their postcode, which can often be inaccurate. Our residents can only make the most informed choices if they have all the data at their fingertips in one place.
Matt Hancock, the digital and culture minister, said: We want everyone to have access to high speed broadband as part of our commitment to building a stronger, more connected economy that works for all, not just a privileged few.
The Digital Economy Bill will help make sure the UK remains ahead in an increasingly connected world, as well as strengthening existing protections for consumers.
News Source TelegraphNews