MP Welcomes Universal Service Obligation on Broadband Access Speeds

Alistair Burt, MP for NE Bedfordshire, today welcomed the announcement by the Culture Secretary to give everyone in the UK access to high speed broadband through a Universal Service Obligation.

The new Universal Service Obligation will allow everyone to access speeds of at least 10Mbps by 2020 and will maximise connections in the hardest to reach areas, through providing fixed lines to some rural areas.

Alistair said:

“I know how important broadband is to homes and businesses, and how frustrating it has been for those constituents who are unable to access a decent service. The Government and Central Bedfordshire Superfast Team have worked hard to roll out superfast broadband across the constituency, and many areas are due for upgrades in 2018. However, this regulatory approach will ensure that no one is left behind”.

This follows a consultation launched last summer on the design of the regulatory USO. The Government will now set out the design for a legal right to high speed broadband in secondary legislation early next year, alongside a detailed response to the consultation.

This regulatory approach also brings a number of other advantages for the consumer:

  • the minimum speed of connection can be increased over time as consumers’ connectivity requirements evolve
  • it provides for greater enforcement to help ensure households and businesses do get connected
  • the scheme will maximise the provision of fixed line connections in the hardest to reach areas
  • places a legal requirement for high speed broadband to be provided to anyone requesting it, subject to a cost threshold (in the same way the universal service right to a landline telephone works).