Survey finds support for superfast broadband service

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1st April 2016 10:14 - Telecommunications

A recent online survey, conducted by broadband comparison website, ISPreview.co.uk, has revealed that 77 per cent of people were in favour of the Government's plan to implement as 10Mbps (Megabits per second) Universal Service Obligation (USO) and the majority would be happy to pay extra for it.Survey finds support for superfast broadband service

When the 1,823 UK Internet users in the survey were asked “Would you still support the USO if it meant a small rise in broadband price (e.g. 50p a month)”, the researchers found the following:

Yes, 50p is okay – 61.6%
No – 24%
Yes , if less than 50p – 9.3%
Unsure – 4.9%

At the end of 2015, the UK Government proposed to consult on a new legally-binding Universal Service Obligation, with the aim to make sure that everyone in the United Kingdom can utilise a minimum broadband speed of 10Mbps.

The existing Universal Service Obligation for Ofcom only requires that the key telecommunications operators should deliver a telephone service which includes the ability to offer “data rates that are sufficient to permit functional internet access” (i.e. conceivably dialup class Internet services at 28.8Kbps+). The primary telecommunications operator for Hull is KC, whereas it is BT for the rest of the United Kingdom.

Further to these findings, the researchers revealed that 32 per cent would be happy if the Universal Service Obligation included Satellite broadband as a sealed method of connectivity. Of the respondents, 53 per cent of the respondents did not want satellite to be included in the Universal Service Obligation and a further 15 per cent were unsure.

ISPreview.co.uk’s Founder, Mark Jackson, said of the market research findings:

“Imposing a legal requirement to deliver a decent level of broadband connectivity is no simple measure and would put additional pressures upon BT, and possibly other operators, in order to meet the requirement,”

“Nevertheless the vast majority of respondents clearly support the move and many would even be willing to stomach a small increase in price in order to cater for it.”

“However consumers clearly want a good quality connection, perhaps ideally a fixed line service, which may explain why only 31% would support the 10Mbps USO if the Government attempted to use a quick-fix solution like Satellite to deliver it.

Satellite has already been used for the non-binding 2Mbps Universal Service Commitment (USC), but it can’t deliver a low latency service and struggles to match the affordable IPTV / video streaming friendly ‘unlimited’ usage allowances of superior methods.”

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