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Openreach believes the government's broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO) will be tough to deliver, but possible nonetheless.

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

According to Clive Selley, Chief Executive of Openreach, this target is "stretching, but it's achievable".

Speaking to the Chronicle, he said the 2020 deadline has encouraged the organisation to roll out "even more infrastructure" across the country, with connections based on both fibre and copper.

"There’s a very small portion in the hardest places to reach that will be served by alternative technologies," he commented.

"That might be satellite or a fixed wireless solution, but in the main we’ll get there using fixed broadband techniques."

Mr Selley stressed that great progress on boosting broadband connectivity has been made throughout the UK in recent years.

However, he said "we've got to go the whole way" and confirmed Openreach has spoken with ministers about "how we do the bit we haven't yet done".

Mr Selley went on to state that rolling out superfast broadband has a "tremendous social purpose".

Indeed, he said Openreach wants to be the "enabler of a digital society" in which everyone can participate, from schoolchildren doing their exams and people who work from home to those who wish to connect with elderly relatives over video links.

"We want to enable that for everyone, not just 90 per cent," Mr Selley said.

"That’s a really important societal goal."

Mr Selley added that Openreach is also working on the basis that every technology platform has a lifespan.

This, he said, means it has to start building the next platform well in advance, as it takes many years to roll out national broadband networks.

"We’re at a stage where we’re going to have to accelerate our deployment of ultrafast technologies," Mr Selley commented.

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