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The government has published its response to the consultation on the broadband universal service obligation.
The UK’s digital landscape is undergoing a dramatic transformation. Nine out of every ten homes and businesses can now access superfast broadband speeds. The government is extending superfast broadband coverage even further through its Broadband Delivery UK programmes, but we want everyone to have access to the enormous benefits that a fast internet connection offers.
In November 2015, the Prime Minister announced the government’s intention to implement a new broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO). This will give people the right to request an affordable broadband connection, at a minimum speed, from a designated provider, up to a reasonable cost threshold.
As a first step towards delivering a broadband USO, we are consulting on new enabling powers that would give the Secretary of State an explicit power to introduce a broadband USO and to require Ofcom to review the USO, as appropriate, to ensure that in future it continues to reflect connectivity needs.
This consultation explains the government’s rationale for a broadband USO, the proposed measures that we intend to put in legislation, and the roadmap that we will follow to take this work forward.