Government establishes “Digital Economy Bill” in Queen’s Speech

The government confirmed new broadband legislation as part of yesterday’s Queen’s Speech.

The government confirmed new broadband legislation as part of yesterday’s Queen’s Speech. 

The new Digital Economy Bill will ensure that everyone will have the right to 10 Mbps of broadband speed thanks to a Universal Service Obligation.

Whilst this has been discussed before, yesterday was the first time it has been made official. 

As well as the promise of a minimum speed, the bill will also set down new guidelines for broadband customers and providers.

Broadband users will be entitled to compensation if their speed drops below the minimum and broadband providers will need to get consent from customers in order to send promotional emails and phone calls, meaning a cut down on spam. 

Despite the positivity of this bill, it was also suggested that broadband users living in rural areas will potentially have to contribute to the cost of installing lines. 

Some experts in the industry have also been sceptical on how well the USO will be enforced.

Anthony Walker of techUK said that, whilst a USO is a good idea, the government should also be looking to drive down costs as well. 

We need to focus first on how we can drive down costs, by removing barriers and enabling companies to plan efficiently.”

"If we can drive down costs, then the funding discussion becomes far easier and the whole process should move faster. If we are smart then the number of connections that need to be funded through a Universal Service Obligation may be very small - maybe under one per cent of all premises."

Others have claimed that the USO will need to be heavily enforced if providers are going to stop coming short of the mark. 

Source: USwitch

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