Last month saw some interesting
broadband developments UK wide – so here’s a brief update for those who missed
Firstly it was announced that
the Government will introduce a new Ofcom Universal Service Obligation (USO)
that will give everyone the legal right to request an ‘affordable’ broadband
connection capable of delivering a minimum of 10 Mb/s by 2020. This puts
broadband on a similar footing to other basic services – water, electricity ……..
Then of course it’s all down to enforcement.
Then the Spending Review and
Autumn Statement confirmed the spending of public funds amounting to £1.7
billion to take SFBB to 95% of UK premises by the end of 2017 (ie the roll-out
of phase 2).
Mention was made (but made no
final commitment given) to a new broadband investment fund. Interesting that the
fund would support the growth of alternative network developers. This could
boost the number of alt-nets investing in faster fibre to the premises
What was obvious though was the
Government is expecting to reap some substantial savings from using SFBB
connectivity – especially from HMRC and online filing of tax returns.
The Department of Culture,
Media and Sport (DCMS) pledged to further improve consumer switching between
broadband ISP and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to investigate if
they are hiding the true cost of their services via line rentals, teaser rates
etc. Proposals in the Spring.
Finally – Ofcom has just
launched its WiFi checker app which allows tablet and smartphone users to check
on how good their WiFi is (ie the wireless connection between your router and
device within your home) and gives some tips to improve things. (Even Christmas
tree lights can slow your WiFi connection down!). Check it out on http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/news/ofcom-launches-wifi-checker/ Not a complete check (no
mention of channels) but maybe some use.