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.