New builds in Gloucestershire should be fitted with broadband as an essential utility like water and electricity, Labour argued at a county council meeting this week.

Leader of the Labour group Lesley Williams, councillor for Stonehouse, brought forward a motion highlighted the importance of broadband connectivity in today’s world.

Having been passed unanimously, the motion means GCC will write to the Government to ask that internet be considered a utility on par with water and electricity.

In the meantime, Gloucestershire County Council will now work with planning authorities to ensure that all new housing and industrial developments in the county have full fibre connectivity as standard.

“Access to the internet is increasingly essential as all aspects of daily life, especially as banking and healthcare services move online,” said cllr Williams.

“In 2018, broadband is as crucial to people’s lives as utilities like water and electricity, and I believe that all new builds should be fitted with internet access as they would be with other essentials.

“All areas of Gloucestershire must be fully connected in order for our county to realise its full potential with regard to economic growth, and for too long, areas such as the Forest of Dean and the Cotswolds have been left behind in this sense.”