The latest ISPreview survey of over 1,700 internet users in the United Kingdom has revealed that over three quarters of people want the Government to aim for a 30Mbps (Megabits per second) broadband Universal Service Obligation rather than the planned 10Mbps USO.
While the survey found 83 percent of respondents support the Government’s plan to introduce a minimum national broadband speed of 10Mbps (Megabits per second) via a legally-binding Universal Service Obligation (USO), most of them (78p percent) feel as if the minimum should have been set at the “superfast” rate of 30Mbps.
It’s widely expected that the bulk of the USO will be delivered via fixed line broadband networks (e.g. KCOM and BT), although the Government has previously hinted that Fixed Wireless and Satellite technologies could also play a role. The survey found that 60 percent of respondents supported the potential inclusion of fixed wireless networks, but approval drops to just 28 percent for Satellite.
Mark Jackson, ISPreview.co.uk’s Founder, said: “Today around 93 per cent+ of premises in the UK are estimated to be covered by a so-called ‘superfast broadband’ network offering 24Mbps or greater of download speed and this should reach around 98 percent by around 2020. The plan to implement a new USO will thus primarily cater for those in the final two percent and should be welcomed, but the majority clearly wanted the Government to set its performance ambition far higher.”
“The delivery of a 10Mbps USO will certainly be hundreds of millions of pounds cheaper to roll-out than 30Mbps, although it’s feared that the final policy may also overlook other important aspects of service such as the need for a fast upload speed (very important for social network apps and the cloud etc.) and fast connection latency.”
“The government should also be careful about adopting quick-fix USO solutions like Satellite, which appear to lack wide public support and suffer from problems with slow peak-time performance, small or expensive data allowances and painfully slow latency.”
“On the other hand there are some extremely remote areas where Satellite may truly be the only viable option (this technology is predicted to focus on around 0.3 percent of UK premises), although this will be no good for today’s world of heavy video streaming where the average 10Mbps+ residential connection gobbles 153GB per month (Ofcom data) and rising”, concluded Jackson.