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Broadband 10 Mbps USO will 'transform' countryside

The Government’s decision to put in place a universal service obligation (USO) for broadband of 10Mbps has been described as a ’major breakthrough’ for rural communities. 


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The NFU and CLA said the USO would make a ’transformational’ difference
The NFU and CLA said the USO would make a ’transformational’ difference

The NFU and CLA said the USO would make a ’transformational’ difference to farmers and those living and working in the countryside who are often held back by connectivity issues.

 

Prime Minister David Cameron said he wanted to put access to broadband on a similar footing to water and electricity, ’with the ambition to give people the legal right to request a connection to broadband with speeds of 10 Mbps, no matter where they live’.

 

"Access to the internet shouldn’t be a luxury; it should be a right – absolutely fundamental to life in 21st century Britain," said Mr Cameron.

 

"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.

 

"Fast broadband connectivity is now seen as a key service, essential not only for busy families but also for businesses and entrepreneurs across the UK."

 

It comes after a Europasat survey found rural workers were wasting about eight work days a year waiting on slow internet.

 

The study revealed 50 per cent of workers did not get the internet connection they paid for and rural workers were worst affected, wasting six hours every month due to poor connections.

 

The latest data from Ofcom shows 10 Mbps is the speed needed to meet the demands of today’s typical family and many small business.

 

A USO will provide a ‘safety net’ to make sure that households and businesses can get the broadband speeds needed to do business online, access key services or stream live TV. It can be upgraded over time as technology and demand evolve.

 

The Government will be consulting on this in early 2016.


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