Less than one third of people (27%) think the broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO) of 10Mbps+ is an acceptable target, according to a recent survey by Broadband Genie.
The majority (63%) of respondents argued that the broadband USO target is far too slow, stating speeds of 30Mbps and above as a realistic target. One third (34%) said the target should be 50Mbps+; the speed more than half (52%) of those surveyed thought should count as ‘superfast’ in terms of advertising. Ofcom currently defines superfast as 30Mbps+.
A minimum speed of 30Mbps would be similar to those of other EU countries such as Portugal and Denmark, both part of the Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE).
However, respondents did feel that the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) target to deliver at least 24Mbps to 98% of premises by 2020 is an acceptable goal. Even though it still pales in comparison to other countries such as Sweden, where they are aiming to deliver 100Mbps+ to 95% of the population by the same year.
Says Alex Tofts, Broadband Expert at Broadband Genie: “It’s understandable a lot of people are concerned the Universal Service Obligation is too slow, though it’s important to remember this is only the minimum target: in most cases users should be able to to enjoy higher speeds.
“But we are a long way behind other countries in Europe such as Norway and Sweden that have access to affordable high speed Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) broadband. Deploying FTTP around the UK won’t be cheap but it’s a long term investment that will provide us with a future-proof infrastructure.”
Andrew Glover, Chair of the Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA), adds:
“In an increasingly technological and interconnected world, access to fast and reliable broadband has become an essential part of any modern household and business. Rural and urban businesses across the UK already benefit from good broadband infrastructure, and there is no doubt that as technology improves, greater connectivity will become more and more important to the UK economy.
“ISPA supports the UK Government’s commitment to the Universal Service Obligation, and its objective to provide a minimum of 10Mbps to every household in the UK on request. The Universal Service Obligation is designed to evolve over time and to keep pace with increasing speeds, allowing households to access the everyday services they use the internet for.”