High-speed broadband to become legal right by 2020

The UK government has confirmed that by 2020 all UK home and businesses will be entitled to demand at least 10Mbps broadband – the speed Ofcom says is required by an average family.

That’s below the average UK broadband speed of 16.51Mbps (as reported earlier this year) and less than half the recommended speed for streaming Netflix in Ultra HD, but should be more than sufficient for HD streaming and internet browsing on multiple devices.

Interestingly, the government has rejected a voluntary proposal by telecom provider BT to deliver universal broadband, saying it believes only a regulatory Universal Service Obligation (USO) offers the “sufficient certainty” and “legal enforceability” required.

A design to give UK citizens a legal right to high-speed broadband will be laid out early next year, with Ofcom’s implementation expected to take two years from then.

Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said: “This is all part of our work on ensuring that Britain’s telecoms infrastructure is fit for the future and will continue to deliver the connectivity that consumers need in the digital age.”


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Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10+ years in the hi-fi industry, she has reviewed all manner of audio gear, from budget amplifiers to high-end speakers, and particularly specialises in headphones and head-fi devices. In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.