Legislators in the United Kingdom are pushing to place fast broadband in the same line of basic services as water and electricity and legally enable everyone to request for a 10 Mbps bandwidth when the current Parliament ends in 2020.
Prime Minister David Cameron justified the endeavors to have the Universal Service Obligation (USO) increased to 10 Mbps for anyone anywhere in the UK as a way to keep Britain on top of other European countries in terms of digitalization. Work to achieve the intended minimum bandwidth for the entirety of the country has commenced.
"Access to the Internet shouldn't be a luxury; it should be a right — absolutely fundamental to life in 21st century Britain," the Prime Minister said in a statement. "Just as our forebears effectively brought gas, electricity and water to all, we're going to bring fast broadband to every home and business that wants it.That's right: we're getting Britain — all of Britain — online, and on the way to becoming the most prosperous economy in the whole of Europe."
Ofcom, the communications regulator in the United Kingdom, confirmed that 10 Mbps is the bandwidth needed to cater to the demands of the average family and small businesses in the UK. Thus, the proposed USO is a "safety net" that will enable families and businesses to access key services and facilitate online business transactions.
Furthermore, over three million homes and businesses throughout the UK now have access to connections of 24 Mbps or better, which was brought about by the government's Superfast broadband program. At the rate of the digital expansion, the 95 percent of homes and businesses will be covered by the program by the time 2017 concludes. It is a key factor for the UK's long-term economic plan of bringing not only jobs and skills, but opportunities and growth to the country's populace.
In addition to fast Internet speeds, the government is also pushing for Internet service transparency. In light of this, Ofcom will release apps so that consumers can check whether their connections are working as they're supposed to. More specific apps are in line for a release next year.
At the moment, 28.8 Kbps is the UK's USO for Internet service. At the end of the year, it will be bumped up to 2 Mbps.
Photo: Oran Viriyincy | Flickr