The Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) has warned that implementing a universal service obligation of 10Mb broadband “could lead to rising consumer prices” if the government doesn’t invest in improving the nation’s infrastructure.
"ISPA supports the principle of broadband universality so thateveryone in society can benefit from being online with a good,reliable connection," the Association said in a statement.
"We also feel that should the USO go ahead, it should not befunded through an industry levy… this will end up being reflectedin broadband prices, meaning the cost will end up being shoulderedby the consumer."
Putting the levy on providers, it said, is anti-competitive andcould hinder other network rollouts, and could ultimately lead tohigher prices for us.
It said that public funding for better broadband speeds shouldbe considered - that means the burden of bringing our broadbandnetworks up to par won't fall on providers, and our household billswon't shoot up.
In fact, since there are "clear social and economic benefits" toa better broadband networks, the ISPA believes targeted publicfunding for particular areas - such as remote rural locations -would be the best way to deliver the USO.
It also said that the outlining of the USO needs to be morespecific: to deliver it, providers need an understanding of "howambitious the USO is meant to be", and then we can specify thetimescales, cost, and rate of delivery.
Either way, it stresses that the technical specification must be"technology-neutral", to account for different kinds of technologythat can be used to deliver broadband - like satellites and 4G.
Read the ISPA's full statement on its website here.
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