The UK government plans to introduce a 10 Mbps broadband universal service obligation (USO), giving everyone a legal right to request a 10 Mbps connection by the end of the current Parliament. The government is looking to put access to broadband on a similar footing as other basic services like water and electricity. Prime Minister David Cameron said that internet access was not a luxury and should be a right, adding that it was fundamental to life in 21st century UK. The latest data from Ofcom confirms 10 Mbps is the speed needed to meet the demands of today’s typical family and many a small business. The government will consult on its USO plans in early-2016.
Culture Secretary John Whittingdale said they also wanted to make sure consumers have more transparency about the service they are getting. He confirmed that Ofcom would launch a new mobile app later in 2015 that allows consumers to check if their home Wi-Fi is working as it should be. Ofcom also plans to introduce more detailed, address-level mobile and broadband speed data in 2016.
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) welcomed the government’s commitment to a new universal service obligation of 10 Mbps. The CBI said that high-quality, digital connectivity was crucial for businesses and that regional growth would be boosted by putting an end to the digital divide.