Carter’s Universal Broadband Commitment

Carter’s Universal Broadband Commitment

At an event yesterday Communications Minister Stephen Carter discussed the idea of a universal broadband commitment of a 2Mbps service to be available to every household that wants it, by 2012. The commitment could be included in the interim Digital Britain Report, expected to be published at the end of January.

The proposal would see a reform of the existing universal service obligation on BT, and would make use of wireless networks as well as fixed to deliver the service. The idea follows similar recent developments in other markets such as France, Ireland and Finland.

Whilst this is clearly a significant development, many will ask what it means for next generation broadband deployment in the UK? In November last year BSG Chairman Kip Meek outlined the idea of a universal service commitment for broadband in his speech to the BSG Reception. Meek’s idea sought to bring together policy in current and next generation broadband – a universal service for current broadband while encouraging investment in next generation broadband.

If the aims of the digital Britain initiative are to deliver economic as well as social benefits then a coherent approach will be required that addresses both objectives. While Carter referenced the importance of enabling investment in next generation services, it remains unclear, what, if anything, the DBR interim report will say on the matter.

Peter Shearman, Policy Manger, BSG

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  • cartouches d encre

    What do Lords and politicians know about communications? They seem to know a lot about avoiding taxes and capital gains taxes in particular, and spend a lot of time on these subjects. But, I suspect they know little and care less about broadband access.

    Why was BT privatised? Has it done more than replace call charges with line rental charges in the last 30 years? Has it striven to become a global leader in anything apart from executive pensions? It is now building a windmill. What a great leap forward. Bring back hanging.

    October 28, 2009 at 7:10 am

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