[LINK] itN: UK USO 2 Mbps in 2016, 10 Mbps by 2020

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Mon Nov 9 10:33:37 AEDT 2015

[Australian telcos oppose the notion of a USO as a distortion of the 
market.  Their view is that we're an economy, not a society.]

UK govt to make 10 Mbps broadband a legal right
Universal broadband access seen as driver for prosperity.
Juha Saarinen
Nov 9, 2015 6:52AM

The UK is set to amend its universal service obligation (USO) 
requirements for telcos, making it a legal right for citizens of the 
country to demand at least 10 megabit per second broadband.

Currently, the minimum USO for data access in Britain is just 28.8 
Kbps, or dial-up speeds.

After data from the telco regulator suggested that 10 Mbps was needed 
to meet the demands of families and small businesses, the UK 
government has decided to increase the USO speed.

Under the proposal, the minimum speed specified by the USO will be 
raised to 2 Mbps by the end of the year, before further increasing to 
10 Mbps by 2020.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron said in a statement the aim was to 
make sure all of Britain is online, in order to become the most 
prosperous economy in Europe.

"Access to the internet shouldn't be a luxury; it should be a right - 
absolutely fundamental to life in 21st century Britain," Cameron said.

"Just as our forebears effectively brought gas, electricity and water 
to all, we're going to bring fast broadband to every home and 
business that wants it."

The government will begin consultation on the five-fold increase in 
the USO early next year. It said 95 percent of the UK population is 
on track to have access to government-sponsored broadband that 
provides speeds of 24Mbps or faster by 2017.

Australia does not currently set minimum speeds for its USO.

Telco industry organisation Comms Alliance said in a submission to a 
recent inquiry [pdf] that it does not support extending the mandatory 
service provision beyond voice to broadband. It claims such a 
requirement would be costly and distort competition.

Roger Clarke                                 http://www.rogerclarke.com/

Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
Tel: +61 2 6288 6916                        http://about.me/roger.clarke
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au                http://www.xamax.com.au/

Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Law            University of N.S.W.
Visiting Professor in Computer Science    Australian National University

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