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Drinking water pipes excluded for broadband

The European Commission has agreed not to put drinking water quality at risk by using underground supply pipes for broadband. This decision supports the UK position, led by Water UK and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and backed by water companies and authorities across Europe.

The decision is part of negotiations on the Commission’s Broadband Directive, which aims to speed up and reduce costs of the deployment of broadband across Europe.

The Directive will mandate that existing infrastructure owners allow broadband operators access to networks. While this is appropriate for sewers, the Commission agreed that no cabling should be allowed in drinking water pipes.

The Directive will be discussed by the European Parliament in April.

Water UK position on broadband

Jim Marshall