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More than two-thirds of UK consumers support the introduction of a universal service obligation for incumbent broadband providers, a study has revealed.

In a poll conducted by ISPreview.co.uk, 71.5 per cent of respondents agreed that the main infrastructure operator should be required to offer speeds of at least 2Mb to customers in all areas.

At present, BT - as the former national telecoms operator - and KC - which runs the network infrastructure in Hull - are subject to a universal service commitment.

Unlike a service obligation, this is not legally binding.

Around a fifth (20.6 per cent) of those surveyed by ISPreview.co.uk disagreed with the proposal, while 7.8 per cent were undecided.

The majority of those surveyed backed the introduction of a universal service obligation, however they were less keen on funding it themselves.

Just 40.7 per cent said they would accept a 'small increase' in the cost of their broadband - such as £1 per month - in return for guaranteed access to a minimum of 2Mb broadband.

Last week, Matthew Evans, Chief Executive of the Broadband Stakeholder Group, warned against the reclassification of broadband as a public utility service.

He said giving broadband the same status as electricity, gas and water could hit network investment and lead to higher prices.

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