The Part R Building Regulations (known as Approved Document R) gives in-depth advice to meet the latest requirements for physical infrastructure for high-speed electronic communications networks in new properties, as well as to buildings with major renovations. Part R is split into two volumes:
Volume 1 - covering gigabit-ready physical infrastructure and a connection to a gigabit-capable for new dwellings (Requirements RA1 and RA2)
Volume 2 - high-speed-ready in-building physical infrastructure for new builds or large renovations (Requirement R1)
As high-speed internet access is an everyday part of modern life, Part R was put in place to improve digital communications, and to ensure everyone has access to fast and reliable broadband networks.
The current version of Building Regs Part R came into effect on 26th of December 2022, for England only. It does not apply to any work covered by a building notice, or for initial planning applications submitted before that date.
Part R of the Building Regulations applies to all newly built dwellings and major renovations. Some buildings of multiple occupancy are exempt, such as hostels and boarding schools, as well as some very isolated properties. Your local building control body should be able to help if you’re unsure of the exemptions listed in Building Regs Part R.
The Part R Building Regulations Volume 1 covers how to install gigabit-ready physical infrastructure and a connection to a gigabit-capable public electronic communications network when work starts on new homes or buildings with multiple dwellings. It is made up of:
Section 1: Requirement RA1 – gigabit-ready physical infrastructure
Section 2: Requirement RA2 – connection to gigabit-capable network
In RA1 (physical infrastructure) Part R says that ‘RA1 will be met by installing physical infrastructure or installations, including elements under joint ownership, to host wired or fixed wireless access networks’. Building work must:
Make sure each dwelling has gigabit-ready physical infrastructure that extends from a network termination point for gigabit-capable public electronic communications networks and reaches a distribution point (or access point) as close to the building as possible
Have a common access point in multiple-occupancy buildings for gigabit-capable public electronic communications networks
Part RA2 (networks) states ‘Requirement RA2 will be met by installing a relevant connection from a network distribution point to a network termination point at each new dwelling erected on a development site.’ Work must make sure:
Each dwelling is also provided with a connection to a gigabit-capable public electronic communications network
Section 3 covers a connectivity plan and key information, followed by an appendix of terms.
Requirement R1 is for ‘high-speed-ready in-building physical infrastructure’, and is covered in detail in Part R Volume 2: Physical infrastructure for high-speed electronic communications networks. To meet Building Regs Part R 1, properties must be ‘designed and constructed so that high-speed electronic communications networks can be installed in the future’.
R1 states that work must:
Ensure that the building is equipped with a high-speed ready in-building physical infrastructure, up to a network termination point for high-speed electronic communications networks
With buildings housing multiple dwellings, the building must also be equipped with a common access point for high-speed electronic communications networks
This document is split into 3 sections:
Appendix A: Key terms
Appendix B: Documents referred to
By making sure that the physical infrastructure is in place, all new buildings in England should have access to high speed broadband, for work or leisure. As part of the regulations, all new buildings should enable access to broadband speeds of over 30 Mbps.
The UK government also wants Approved Document R to help make broadband affordable for everyone, as well as being fast and reliable.
Read more about the Approved Documents and how they overlap with Part R on the Travis Perkins Building Regs Hub.
Disclaimer: Information displayed in this article is correct at the time of publication, but note that legislation changes periodically. Please refer to the latest publication of each approved article. The information contained on this page is intended as an overall introduction and is not intended as advice from a professional building control officer. The definition of ‘building work’ and when Building Regs approval is required is set out here. Travis Perkins aims to avoid, but accepts no liability, in the case that any information stated is out of date. Always consult the approved local authority building control team when considering any exemptions, and before undertaking any work.