5 Mbps USO

We have been campaigning hard for a broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO). The government’s latest digital communications policy paper, announced in the Budget, finally seeks to make this happen. We hope this will soon replace the current 2 Mbps Universal Service Commitment (USC), which is not legally binding.

The government is committed to ensuring that every single household in the UK has access to the basic broadband needed to live and work in the modern world. So we will look to raise the Universal Service Obligation (USO) – the legal entitlement to a basic service – from dial up speeds to 5 Mbps broadband. This commitment to all goes further than any other country in Europe. Once in place, a USO would mean that consumers gain a legal right to request installation of 5 Mbps capable services at an affordable price.

The “ambition” for at least 100 Mbps to be available to “nearly all UK premises” also provides a welcome target. However, it is disappointing to see satellite proposed as the solution for “premises experiencing the lowest speed broadband”, since limitations inherent in satellite connections prevent them from providing the service most people expect.

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3 Responses to 5 Mbps USO

  1. Walter says:

    Ambitions are one thing but finding a practical solution without weasel words will probably be impossible for the outliers such as all those up Barhatch Lane that, at best, get around 3 Mbps. In any event even 5 Mbps is insufficient to support a family with multiple devices such as iPads, iPhones and computers.

    As another example of the extremely tight BT investment plans you might like to look at this article and comment on the Guildford Dragon.


  2. Walter says:

    Just to whet your appetite in case one day we can escape from the incumbent’s stranglehold I thought you might like to read this piece I’ve just posted on the Kitz web site.


    Sadly the VDSL unavailability pantomime continues in Shere with cabinet 5 postponed yet again. I fully expect cabinet 6 for Farley Heath to be postponed from its current date of 8 April, probably on the 7 April.

  3. David Nye says:

    The good news: The proposed legislation will not fix a minimum speed for the USO; this and other criteria will be set and reviewed from time to time by Ofcom. The current suggestion is 10 Mbps download.

    The bad news: This is going to take years to come into effect; 2020 by one estimate.

    The public consultation closes on 18th April; read it at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/broadband-universal-service-obligation

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