The prime minister has promised that everyone in the UK will be able to access faster broadband services by 2020
Mr Cameron has plans to introduce a ‘universal service obligation’ for residential and business broadband, which would give everyone the right to demand an affordable connection. This would give broadband a similar status to other utilities; however, Labour representatives believe that some people would then have to wait for around five years before they could access the services they have been promised.
The coalition government promised in 2010 that the UK would be able to boast Europe’s best broadband services by 2015, with a similar promise from culture secretary Jeremy Hunt in 2012. He defined high-speed broadband as greater than 24Mbps; however, Ofcom defines it as greater than 30Mbps.
The latest announcement is aimed at ensuring that people have a connection speed of a minimum of 10Mbps regardless of which part of the country they are in. The PM said access to business broadband services “should be a right”, as it is an essential part of life in the modern world.
More details on the project are expected to be announced next week. In excess of 83% of homes and business premises currently have access to faster broadband services and the target is to reach 95% by 2017. The speeds of at least 10Mbps are being promised to the final 5%, who are located in some of the country’s most hard-to-reach areas.