Access to High Speed Broadband to Become Legal Right by 2020

Access to high speed broadband will be a legal right for all homes and businesses in the UK by 2020, it has today been reported.

The British Government has announced that a Universal Service Obligation (USO) will be introduced, which will outline the rights that every business and home in the UK will have to access broadband at speeds of 10Mbps.

This will mean that businesses in even the most rural areas of the country will be able to access broadband at a speed deemed by Ofcom as required to meet the needs of an average family.

The decision has been made by the Government to turn down BT’s proposal of a voluntary approach to offer 1.1 million rural homes and businesses superfast broadband.

Instead the Government opted to create a formal regulation meaning broadband providers will have a legal requirement to provide high speed broadband to anyone who requests it.

The announcement of legislation follows the Conservative parties’ manifesto pledge to “ensure that by 2020 every home and every business in Britain has access to high speed broadband.”

Culture Secretary, Karen Bradley, said: “We know how important broadband is to homes and businesses and we want everyone to benefit from a fast and reliable connection.”

It was only earlier this month that Ofcom released figures stating that 1.1 million properties were unable to access speeds of 10Mbps, equating to 4% of UK homes and offices.

How to get high speed broadband

Now that small businesses are aware the legislation has been announced it’s only natural they should want to know how they can go about implementing it.

While the plans have been finalised, the secondary legislation will not be announced until early next year.

Digital Minister, Matt Hancock, also noted on Radio 4 that this promise is the ‘access’ to high speed broadband.

He clarified: “Access means that you can phone up somebody, ask for it and then somebody has the legal duty to deliver on that promise.”

So, while it may not be instantaneous, it does mean that the UK are on their way to high speed broadband and rural businesses will be able to breathe a sigh of relief.

What’s your business’ experience of broadband? Are you in a rural area that struggles to get a decent connection? Is it affecting how your business operates? We want to hear from you! Drop us a comment below and tell us about your experiences.

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