High Speed Broadband to become a legal right.

Having lobbied the Government on my constituents’ access to high speed broadband I am pleased that the Government has announced that it has declined BT’s proposal to deliver universal broadband through a voluntary agreement.  Universal high speed broadband will be delivered by a regulatory Service Obligation (USO) which will give everyone in the UK access to speeds of at least 10 Mbps by 2020.

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  1. Iain Gill
    Posted December 20, 2017 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Ignores a few practical realities, like some exchanges are physically too full already, some premises are too far away from any viable place to put an exchange, BT chosen approach of “fibre to the cabinet” has a whole host of issues, still no regulatory mandate to lay fibre to all new build premises (most of the cost is laying the cable, we may as well lay fibre instead of copper if we are doing it from scratch), where is the money coming from for the most expensive properties to provision (typically those furthest from exchanges), and of course the speed mentioned is rather low and will only seem lower still in a few years.

    BT may get saved by improved tech allowing faster capacity over existing copper, but unlikely this can solve the problem at those exchanges already crammed to capacity physically.

    So it could just be like Kanute telling the tide not to come in, without answers to these basic issues government regulation is a nonsense.

  2. Epikouros
    Posted December 21, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    I applaud the government’s desire that everyone should have access to high speed broadband but deplore that they are using legislation to effect it. Legislation is used far too freely as mostly what it does is erode civil liberties and grant powers to a centralised entity that in the end uses it not for the public good but it’s own. The only laws we should be subject to are only those that have been built up through precedent and common usage. If the government wants to influence behaviour to ensure equality of opportunity and social justice then they should use other mechanism some of which they should use very sparingly. They do not and the reverse is applied at enormous cost in resources and to the curtailment of the right to order peacefully our lives according to our personal preferences. So as to move away from the road to socialism the modern form of serfdom that we are currently treading.

  3. Pete
    Posted December 21, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Not much to get excited about now that net neutrality has been destroyed by the US vote, high speed will only apply to those sites that can pay the isps enough cash.

  4. Daniel Thomas
    Posted December 21, 2017 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    So someone who chooses to live in the middle of nowhere now gets their broadband paid for by the tax payer.

  5. Richard1
    Posted December 26, 2017 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Did you hear the interview on Today with a South Korean telecoms exec (I think) about a month ago, where it came out that the definition of ‘high speed broadband’ in the U.K. is c 10 mbps, whereas in S Korea it is c 1 GBPS? The government needs to return to the teachings of Adam Smith to see why this might be so – it is the absence of competition. No matter how much BT/Openreach is regulated there is no chance of internationally competitive broadband speeds in the U.K. until there is competition in supply.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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