Insights Government publishes response to its consultation on a new broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO).

Following the consultation, which ran from 23 March 2016 until 18 April 2016, the Government will be introducing a new enabling power in primary legislation that will give the Secretary of State an explicit power to introduce a new broadband USO to provide functional internet access appropriate for today’s needs.

In addition, the Secretary of State has commissioned Ofcom to undertake detailed analysis of the key factors that will help inform the design of the USO.  Ofcom has been asked to report on its findings by the end of the year.

The Government intends that secondary legislation will then be developed setting out the scope, including specific requirements and guidance for the design of the USO.  It intends to consult on proposals for secondary legislation once it has considered Ofcom’s report, and a regulatory impact assessment will accompany that consultation.  This second consultation will cover the detail of the USO, and will provide an opportunity to comment on the design of the USO and how it is to be implemented.

Once the secondary legislation is in place, Ofcom will then carry out work on the detailed design of the USO and on its regulatory implementation.  To read the Government’s response in full, click here.