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Government sets minimum broadband speed

21 December 2017

Improved access to faster broadband services throughout the UK will be available by 2020, according to the government's Universal Service Obligation.

With a speed of at least 10Mbps, the infrastructure will be delivered by BT Openreach.

Broadband providers will be legally obligated to deliver the minimum speed, subject to a cost threshold, said the BBC.

It further reported that BT had offered to carry out infrastructure improvements within its own timetable, but had accepted the government's decision and 2020 deadline.

There are currently around 1.1m UK premises unable to access the minimum speed at present, according to industry regulator Ofcom.

Nearly 230,000 small businesses have also been identified as being unable to obtain an acceptable level of service.

Describing the government announcement as "good news of sorts", Dave Millett of Equinox said the "catches are it is not until 2020 and the speed is just 10Mbps".

This will not be suitable for expanding the use of the Internet of Things (IoT), he said, and referred to the proposed EU minimum speed of 30Mbps as the "lowest that is sufficient for the digital age".

"But it is a step in the right direction - albeit a small one," he continued.

"We'd have preferred a big leap - something that would really tackle the UK's abysmal broadband infrastructure," said Mr Millett.

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