closedownarrowexternal-linklogo-verticalmenu-barsearch Skip to main content
Jump to navigation
ed vaizey detail

Consumers have been urged to take part in an upcoming consultation on the government's proposed broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO).

Ministers want to ensure that everyone is able to access minimum broadband speeds of 10Mbps by 2020 and make this target legally binding.

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey has confirmed that as soon as the government receives Ofcom's analysis of the relevant issues, it will launch a consultation on the USO.

Writing in the Telegraph, following the launch of its Better Broadband campaign, he has urged consumers to "make their views known" and respond to the consultation.

Mr Vaizey pointed out that great progress has been made on rolling out superfast broadband over the last decade.

Indeed, he stated the rollout in the UK has been the fastest of its kind anywhere in the world, with nine out of ten homes and businesses now able to access superfast speeds.

However, Mr Vaizey said there is still more to do, with rural areas in particular being "stubbornly hard to reach".

"I share the frustrations of those who live there," he commented. "But we’re on track to get to 95 per cent of them by 2017, and we’re determined that those in the final five per cent are not left behind."

Mr Vaizey noted that if the USO is implemented, everyone will be given the right to request a fast, affordable broadband connection of a minimum specified speed, which will initially be set to 10Mbps, up to a reasonable cost threshold.

He stated that since connecting the hardest-to-reach parts of the country will "naturally be more expensive", it "makes sense to provide the service upon request, in the same way telephone lines are provided".

Mr Vaizey added that millions of pounds are being reinvested to extend the broadband infrastructure in remote communities, in order to "get things moving faster and further".

The money has become available because the higher the number of people who sign up for superfast broadband, the more money BT is contractually obliged to return to local authorities to roll out broadband further.

Join the conversation

comments powered by Disqus

Stay up to date

  • Google+ Follow uSwitchTech
  • Subscribe to our RSS feed

Latest Comments

  • Nick Singfield 1 day ago Vodafone home broadband line... What I want to know is when are we all going to ditch these landlines??? Who uses them? I hate the idea of...
  • Bruce Farley 2 days ago Sky overhauls TV packages I called sky broadband a couple of days ago and spoke to the sales team, I asked "why is yours more...
  • Bruce Farley 2 days ago TalkTalk offer discounts on... Talktalk is warehouse brand, that's why it's so reduced. My dad has talktalk, and luckily doesn't use the...

Search news