Legal right to demand high speed broadband

The latest regulations will force broadband providers to supply high speed coverage if customers ask for it.

The Government will legally recognise the right to demand high speed broadband after they promised to ensure all homes and businesses have faster internet connections by 2020.

The promise that has been made means that internet speeds of at least 10 megabytes per second (MBps) will be provided to the whole of the UK. The Government believes that this new regulation is the most efficient way of ensuring access to high speed broadband.

As a consultant lawyer, you are dependent on having access to a good quality internet connection. This new regulation could enable you to work quicker, especially if you are living or working in a remote area.

BT offered to push out connections to 1.1 million homes in remote areas of the UK, which was rejected by the Government. They have instead decided to introduce the Universal Service Obligation (USO) which will give customers the right to demand an upgrade on their connection.

Currently, UK internet providers are able to disregard customer demands for faster internet speeds if they think it will cost the company too much to install. It’s estimated that 5% of the country don’t currently have access to high speed broadband, most of these being in remote parts of the UK.

This new regulation may come at a cost for customers. Phone providers are obliged to provide a customer with a landline free of charge if the installation costs are below £3,500. If the costs are above this threshold, the customer is asked to provide a contribution. It is thought that this concept could also be transferred to the installation of high speed broadband services. This threshold will be decided in a Government consultation in early 2018.

Culture Secretary, Karen Bradley, said the Government was “grateful to BT for their proposal” but that only a “regulatory approach will make high-speed broadband a reality for everyone in the UK, regardless of where they live or work”.

“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”, she added.

View source here.

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