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Labour has criticised ministers for rejecting calls from the House of Lords to make its Universal Service Obligation (USO) proposals more ambitious.

Ministers have already pledged to implement a new broadband USO that ensures everyone in Britain has a legal right to request minimum speeds of 10Mbps by 2020.

However, in a vote on the Digital Economy Bill in February, peers backed the idea of raising the minimum download speed to 30Mbps.

Prior to the bill receiving Royal Assent, Digital and Culture Minister Matt Hancock confirmed this suggestion would not be acted upon, due to concerns over whether a 30Mbps USO was deliverable.

The move was criticised by Shadow Digital Economy Minister Louise Haigh, who said it shows the government's "alarming lack of ambition" and a "worrying indication" of its priorities regarding technology.

"We would have liked the government to back 30Mbps for all and I do not accept that millions of consumers and businesses should simply be left behind," Ms Haigh commented.

"This was an opportunity to prepare the UK for the ubiquitous future demanded by the digital revolution."

Ms Haigh added that this was also a chance to lay the foundations for both a world-leading digital sector and an economy with "digital inclusion at its heart".

The government plans to direct Ofcom to review the minimum download speed in the broadband USO once superfast take-up has reached 75 per cent.

Mr Hancock said this would give the assurance that any USO speed would be reconsidered once a larger proportion of subscribers are on superfast connections.

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