USO to be legal right, as government rejects BT's proposal

Thursday, December 21st 2017

Government has after a final consultation revealed its decision to implement a new Universal Service Obligation (USO) as a legal right. So, everyone in Britain has the right to request a minimum speed of 10Mbps by 2020.

The government says this speed will meet the needs of a typical British family that browses the net, uses video conferencing and streams films, all at a time online. BT had proposed to deliver high-speed broadband to all areas of Britain, as an alternative to the regulatory USO. Nevertheless, the government rejected it as the plan did not seem strong enough to not let them table the regulatory USO.

The Culture Secretary, Karen Bradley, remarked that they were grateful that BT made their offer, but decided to take on a regulatory approach to deliver high-speed broadband for everyone into a reality, regardless of where anyone lives or works in the UK. She stressed that everyone should benefit from a reliable and fast broadband connection, as it is important to them. She added that this approach is to ensure that telecom infrastructure in Britain is fit for the future and it will deliver in the digital age the connectivity that consumers need/demand.

The regulatory approach will offer to consumers numerous benefits, believes the government, such as, realising that as people's connectivity requirements evolve, the minimum speed can be increased over a time. The government said the USO renders far greater enforcement, as well as maximising the provision, in the hardest-to-reach areas, for fixed-line connections.

BT responded by saying it respected the government's decision and added that it would go on making decent broadband available in the country to everyone. A BT spokesperson said they would continue to explore options to commercially bring to those parts that are hardest to reach, broadband at faster speeds


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