August 7, 2017
The Government explains that the Digital Economy Act 2017, which received Royal Assent in April, enabled the creation of a new broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO), giving every household and business the right to request a broadband connection at a minimum speed of at least 10Mbps, up to a reasonable cost threshold, no matter where they live or work. Following this, the Government is consulting on the specific design of the USO, which would be set in secondary legislation.
The consultation covers a number of interrelated design issues: the minimum specification, the technologies and providers that can deliver this, affordability, how it is funded and minimising market distortion. It also considers the review of the USO to ensure that it remains relevant over time.
The consultation has been published on the same day the Government announced that BT had made an offer to voluntarily provide “universal high speed broadband” across the country (see previous item).
The consultation is a public consultation. The Government says that it is particularly seeking views from the electronic communications industry (network operators, and ISPs), and both business and residential consumers, as well as representative organisations.
The consultation closes at midday on 9 October 2017. To access the consultation, click here.