BT Offers Universal Broadband in Place of Regulation

BT offers universal broadband in place of regulation

BT has offered to provide the infrastructure for 99% of premises in the UK to get broadband speeds of at least 10 megabits per second by 2020.

If accepted, it would mean government-proposed rules, allowing those living in remote areas to demand broadband, were unnecessary.

BT says it would invest up to £600m and coverage would be universal by 2022.

About 1.4 million households currently cannot get speeds above 10Mbps, according to Ofcom.

This figure is disputed by a group of MPs who say there are a further 5.3 million who have not chosen to take up faster broadband services, some of whom may also not be able to get 10Mbps speeds.

In a recently published report, they called on regulator Ofcom to more clearly distinguish between the take-up and actual availability of fast broadband.

The government has proposed a universal service obligation (USO), designed to help remote households get fast broadband more quickly, by granting them the right to request broadband speeds of at least 10Mbps – speeds which the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport says would “meet the typical needs of a family”. That proposal is currently under consultation.

BT’s alternative proposal would see the company rolling out the necessary infrastructure “proactively” rather than waiting for a request. The investment would be recouped through customers’ bills.

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Source: BBC News, Retrieved 30 July 2017, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-40751449

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