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UK Residents Could Have the Legal Right to Broadband by 2020

While I try to avoid politics as much as possible as it leads to debates I have no interest in taking part in, there’s one thing the Government is doing here in the UK that I am paying attention to: the legal right to have “affordable” broadband. Something they hope to have in place by 2020.

Now, before you get too excited, this is probably more exciting for those in rural areas as it promises broadband with a connection of at least 10Mbps no matter where you live, or work. It’s not quite the more desirable 100Mbps, but it’s something, especially for those who live out in the sticks.

“Access to the Internet shouldn’t be a luxury, it should be a right—absolutely fundamental to life in 21st Century Britain,” said David Cameron. “Just as our forebears effectively brought gas, electricity, and water to all, we’re going to bring fast broadband to every home and business that wants it.”

This “universal service obligation” for broadband Internet would of course put this on the same essential list as our every day utilities such as water, gas, and electricity. The UK government is set to hold a consultation on how to achieve this fairly ambitious goal in early 2016.

It’s worth noting though that this isn’t the first time we’ve been promised great things with broadband Internet, in 2012, then culture secretary Jeremy Hunt promised that the UK would have the fastest broadband in Europe by 2015. According to the latest statistics however, the UK has the 21st fastest broadband in the world, and is pretty low on the list when it comes to Europe.

The UK has been promised fast broadband for some time from many of the leading ISPs, and while in more populated areas that’s a possibility, when you get outside of busy areas things are a lot slower. Being someone who lives just 30 minutes from Derby, our 4G connection is quicker than the broadband currently available in our area.