Thursday, May 19, 2016

UK considers universal service legislative requirement

Families face paying thousands for high speed internet access | Daily Mail Online:

Every family will win the right to demand a ‘fast’ broadband connection it was announced in the Queen’s Speech yesterday, but those in remote communities may have to pay hundreds of pounds to get it. The new Digital Economy Bill hopes to finally bring broadband technology to one million people whose properties have until now been treated as economically unviable or too difficult to provide with high-speed connections. But the legislation falls short of the Conservative Party’s manifesto pledge to ensure every home gets access to so-called ‘superfast’ broadband.
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Adam Marshall, of the British Chambers of Commerce said: ‘If implemented in full and at pace, this could go some way to improving the poor digital connectivity that far too many firms face.’Government sources said BT, which is in line for subsidies worth 1 billion to roll out broadband to 95 per cent of homes by the end of next year, has resisted the idea of a legal guarantee. But ministers have decided the threat of legal action is needed to ensure the final five per cent of homes also get a decent connection.

It boggles the mind to consider a relatively small island nation has so many premises still off the Internet grid in 2016. The U.S. already has a universal service/nondiscrimination requirement in law per the Federal Communications Commission's 2015 Open Internet rulemaking but is not enforcing it.

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