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TalkTalk and Sky have welcomed news that high-speed broadband is to become a legal right in UK.

Earlier this week, the government announced that universal high speed broadband will be delivered by a regulatory Universal Service Obligation (USO).

While BT had volunteered to deliver universal high-speed broadband to all areas of the UK as an alternative to regulation, ministers decided that this plan was not "strong enough for us to take the regulatory USO off the table".

This means that everyone in Britain will have the legal right to request minimum speeds of 10Mbps by 2020.

According to the government, this is the speed that will meet the typical needs of a family wanting to browse the web, stream films and carry out video conferencing at the same time.

Responding to the announcement, TalkTalk Chief Executive Tristia Harrison said opting for formal regulation rather than "weaker promises" guarantees that consumers will get the minimum speeds they need at affordable prices.

"The whole industry now needs to work together to ensure customers see the benefits as quickly as possible," she commented.

Stephen van Rooyen, Chief Executive of Sky in the UK and Ireland, added that the government has "made the right decision by choosing a fair and transparent approach that maintains competition, keeps prices fair and gives consumers a legal right to request broadband".

Ministers believe the regulatory approach offers a number of benefits to consumers, such as the fact the minimum speed of connection can increase over time as people's connectivity requirements evolve.

Furthermore, the government said the USO provides for greater enforcement to help make sure homes and businesses get connected, as well as maximising the provision of fixed line connections in the hardest-to-reach areas.

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