10Mbps Internet for Everyone by 2020, Promises the Government

By Gary Cutlack on at

The new Universal Service Obligation will let everyone in the UK request a 10Mbps internet connection by the year 2020, as the government moves on from today's laughable 2Mbps speed commitment.

As is often the case, the wording of today's target announcement is perhaps a little ambiguous. The statement says everyone will have the "legal right to request" a 10Mbps connection by 2020, so presumably plenty of people will be left on lesser connections -- unaware that they could ask to be upgraded. It's no blanket national infrastructure upgrade, sadly.

David Cameron made the announcement in a speech today, saying: "Access to the Internet shouldn’t be a luxury; it should be a right -- absolutely fundamental to life in 21st century Britain. That is why I’m announcing a giant leap in my digital mission for Britain. Just as our forebears effectively brought gas, electricity and water to all, we’re going to bring fast broadband to every home and business that wants it."

The USO of 10Mbps has been put together in consultation with Ofcom, which has told the government that it ought to be enough to keep the various devices connected to the various streaming services of a modern family, although when dad starts streaming the latest Star Wars washing powder adverts at 1080p it may well impact upon Junior's Doctor Who session and mum's bed/laptop Strictly catch-up.

The current UK USO is set to hit 2Mbps by the end of this year, a target that many rural and congested urban users are still way short of seeing, so... good luck with your New Year's Day 2020 engineer callout. [Gov.uk]