UK councils have urged the government to reassure the public on its broadband commitment.
The councils want the government to confirm that it is committed to the provision of a national minimum speed for residential and business broadband. There are concerns that hundreds of thousands of properties could fall into a dark zone with far from adequate provision.
The Local Government Association wants the government to put a timetable into place for the provision in order to reassure the public following the delays getting the Digital Strategy into place, and the problems with the Digital Economy Bill.
It has been estimated that around one million residential properties will not be provided with a minimum speed of 10Mbps by next year. Around 10% of these will be in rural areas. The LGA has said that good access to faster residential and business broadband is going to be essential, and this has resulted in the ‘Up to Speed’ campaign.
Local councils around the country have been an important part of the recent Superfast Broadband programme, and it is hoped that with their help the government’s original target of 95% coverage by the end of next year can actually be surpassed.
The government has promised the legal right to all UK residents of a minimum speed of 10Mbps by 2020. Local councils are supportive of this but want to ensure that there is provision for those who are not part of the current roll-out plans. They want to ensure that the government keeps on track with its plans.