Boston and Skegness MP Matt Warman has called on the Government to ensure that its broadband Universal Service Obligation is fit for the future.
In his opening speech, Matt said, “I hope that the debate will send a message from the House that “universal” in USO should mean that it is genuinely available to all, whether businesses or consumers, even if that has to be through a satellite connection or preferably, in due course, a 5G connection; that “service” should mean that the connection keeps pace with the quickening web requirements of the modern era, for upload and latency as well as for download; and that “obligation” should mean that it is provided by 2020 with a road map for each individual premises and a penalty on the provider if it has failed to deliver on time.”
The debate on Thursday 15th December, called for and led by Matt, was attended by MPs from across the country and from all the main political parties, who highlighted why their constituents need access to high quality broadband speeds so that they can remain connected to the modern world – whether that be for online shopping or accessing government services.
Matt also suggested that communications regulator Ofcom might consider making recommendations each year to see the USO rise incrementally, so that it can keep pace with new technologies, such as 5G, which will require faster speeds and remain future-proof.
Commenting afterwards, Matt said, “I was pleased that the Digital Minister agreed with me that we need a broadband service which works for everyone and that the UK’s digital infrastructure must meet both today’s and tomorrow’s connectivity needs. The USO of 10 Mbps must be a starting point, not an end goal, and we must remain open to reaching it through a range of technologies. As I said in the debate, broadband is the single biggest issue in my postbag, so I will certainly continue to push Ministers for the best possible connectivity solutions.”
- The full debate can be found here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2016-12-15/debates/E21DBE29-D307-4C81-9521-F9C4DB0801E8/BroadbandUniversalServiceObligation