Majority would support legally binding minimum broadband speed

UK broadband customers would welcome new laws that would force providers to deliver download speeds of at least 2Mbps, according to a new survey carried out by tech site ISPreview.

More than 70% of respondents said BT should provide a guaranteedlevel of service to everyone in the UK. However, support for alegally binding universal service obligation (USO) dropped whenrespondents were asked whether they would pay extra for it to beimposed.

BT and KC in Hull currently have to deliver data rates that aresufficient to permit "functional internet access", according torules outlined by telecoms regulator Ofcom. This Universal ServiceCommitment pledges to extend basic broadband speeds of 2Mb toeverybody by 2016, but there are no laws to enforce this at themoment.

While the majority of those surveyed said a broadband USO shouldbe introduced, just 40.7% said they would be willing to increasetheir payment by £1 per month as a result. However, the yes voterose to 42% when consumers were asked whether they would pay anadditional £2 or £3 for minimum speeds of at least 10Mb.

BT and the government are currently working to extend superfastbroadband speeds of 24Mb or greater to 95% of the UK population by2017. However, access to basic broadband remains a problem for manypeople in rural areas across the UK.

While a USO could be beneficial in the short term for customers,it could eventually lead to a reduction in competition as it wouldbe harder for new providers to enter the market, as it may costthem more to deliver services.

Source: ISPReview

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