Your broadband legal rights
You might have heard about different funding, terminology, and service levels regarding your internet speed, but are you legally entitled to fast broadband? Here’s what you need to know about your legal right to fast broadband…
When will Britain have a legal right to faster broadband?
British homes and businesses will have a legal right to high-speed broadband by 2020. This announcement was made by the government recently, with the finer details of how it will be implemented being ironed out.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport says that a ‘universal service obligation’ (USO) would offer certainty that broadband speeds of at least 10Mbps would reach the whole of the UK by 2020.
That means that providers will in future have a legal requirement to provide high-speed broadband to anyone who requests it, no matter where they are in the country.
Network provider BT argued that it should be a voluntary rather than legal obligation on providers, but this was dismissed by the government.
What action can you take?
Solway Comms is able to meet the pending legal requirement to provide download speeds of at least 10mb/s.
We are also able to ensure that upload speeds are this fast as well, something that is becoming increasingly important both for residents and businesses. (Just think how many videos, photos, files and such are shared over the internet now)
In Cumbria, some of those using BT’s infrastructure aren’t able to access fast broadband, and 30,000 homes and businesses are currently without adequate broadband connections.
Many of those people have switched to Solway Comms, because we use our own infrastructure of wireless masts to provide a fast and reliable connection.
Jane Naylor, from Southwaite, switched to us from BT and hasn’t looked back.
She said: “Brilliant service! From less than 1mb from BT, to an almost constant 10mb now is fantastic. Staff are always polite and very helpful. 10/10.”
What’s the current state of play?
Solway Comms is perfectly placed to help deliver the USO, as our MD Nick Kittoe explained: “We can provide better speeds than the minimum required, and it’s instant, there’s no need for wires underground or anything.
“Technology is advancing and people will have more options available to them.
“BT had a proposal to avoid the government’s obligation but this didn’t stick. I hope that the USO will help ensure those that want a fast connection get it, and would urge them to get in touch with Solway.”
Earlier this year, Ofcom identified more than 1m “forgotten homes” and businesses across the UK that were unable to get sufficiently fast broadband to meet a typical user’s needs, such as streaming films or music, and sharing files.
4% of UK homes and offices, about 1.1m properties, could not access broadband speeds of at least 10Mbps.
It was also revealed that rural families were more likely to be left behind, with 17% of homes not receiving decent internet, versus 2% in cities and towns.
This means that areas like Cumbria are often forgotten. Don’t worry though, this was one of the reasons why Solway Comms was set up, to provide fast broadband to these forgotten homes and offices.