Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission Lord Adonis today welcomed the Government’s plans for a new Universal Service Obligation to give residents and businesses access to better broadband services.

The move will offer a legal right to at least 10 megabits per second broadband speed by 2020.  This is the speed that regulators Ofcom report is needed to meet the requirements of an average family.

Introducing a Universal Service Obligation for broadband was one of 12 infrastructure priorities identified in June as needing urgent ministerial attention – but Lord Adonis added that ahead of this becoming law, urgent action is needed to help those currently facing poor services.  Last week, he wrote to Ofcom urging them to work with Government to tackle this issue immediately. 

Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission Lord Adonis said:

“With more and more services available online only, having access to a fast, reliable broadband speed is essential for residents and businesses alike.

“Introducing a Universal Service Obligation was one of 12 infrastructure priorities we identified in June, so I’m pleased to see the Government taking action which will give people a legal right to minimum speeds by 2020.

“But in the meantime, there are communities suffering poor broadband and mobile services now that need help – which is why I’ve written to Ofcom urging them to work urgently with Government to find some immediate solutions to this pressing issue.

“Our forthcoming National Infrastructure Assessment – the first of its kind for our country – will also look at the longer-term investments needed as our demands for ever-greater speeds continues.”