Digital Economy Bill set to Make Faster Broadband a Legal Ri

The government has announced a series of measures to establish the UK as a world leader in the digital economy.

Plans to make this a reality were announced during the Queen’s Speech on Wednesday, beginning with a reiteration of the government’s commitment to making faster broadband a legal right as part of the Digital Economy Bill.

The Bill sets in motion a strategy to make the UK a “place where technology ceaselessly transforms the economy, society and government.”

The Queen said: “Measures will be brought forward to create the right for every household to access high speed broadband … Legislation will be introduced to improve Britain’s competitiveness and make the United Kingdom a world leader in the digital economy.”

To improve the overall infrastructure of broadband in the UK, the government has committed to introducing a broadband universal service obligation (USO) as well as rolling out faster broadband to all citizens.

The obligation gives citizens and businesses the legal right to have a fast connection installed.

The background notes on the speech said: “This would work similarly to the landline telephone USO and, just like for landlines, there would be a reasonable cost threshold, above which the very remotest properties may be expected to contribute to the cost of the installation.”

The Digital Economy Bill will empower Ofcom to monitor and review broadband speed so that it remains sufficient for modern life, ensuring that there is an initial minimum of 10Mbps. 

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