Universal Service Commitment

The House of Commons has published another report covering broadband issues from the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee. It includes the following viewpoint.

“40. The Universal Service Commitment of 2 Mbps is a big step forward for households and businesses currently with no or slow broadband. This part of the rural broadband programme is crucial and it should not be undermined by the ambition to roll out superfast broadband to those who already enjoy an adequate service. It must be the priority, particularly if there is a risk of funding not stretching as far as originally hoped. However, given the delays to the Programme, the Committee is unclear when those currently without any access may benefit. 2 Mbps must also be the minimum speed that users receive during periods of peak demand, not a headline ‘up to’ figure that is rarely achievable. Not that we consider 2 Mbps good enough; while it may be sufficient to stream video content for one device, households increasingly have a number of devices that compete for internet connectivity – this needs to be recognised in future plans to move beyond the USC.”

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