Council leader welcomes PM broadband statement

Shetland Islands Council leader Gary Robinson has welcomed Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement of a universal service obligation (USO) for broadband across the UK.

This commitment should ensure that 100 per cent of homes and businesses in the UK will be able to access broadband with speeds of at least 10Mbps by 2020.

Councillor Robinson said: “The Government’s commitment to achieve 100 per cent broadband coverage  in the UK by 2020 is very welcome. At 10Mbps it falls some way short of what can properly be defined as high speed broadband but it should be fast enough to allow our remotest island homes to stream live video and for isolated businesses to function as they’ve never been able to in the past.”

He added: “This latest announcement further vindicates the work of the Our Islands Our Future campaign. A universal service obligation was something that we lobbied the government for so we’re delighted to have won this commitment. While it’s very welcome, our work will continue in order to ensure that everyone can access true super-fast broadband of at least 30Mbps as defined by Ofcom and the European Commission.”


Add Your Comment
  • Michael Garriock

    • November 8th, 2015 22:33

    So, is this a service delivery guarantee of 10Mbps, whereby everyone is able to achieve that figure 24/7/365 unless in specified exceptional circumstances/force majeure. Or is it nothing more than a theoretically possible line speed?

    If it is the former, then it may be something to crow about, but if the latter, not so much, as most folk already have theoretical maximum line speeds approaching that level, if not significantly exceeding it, who have never received 50% of their theoretical maximum, and from the long-standing attitude of both hardware provider and ISPs, see no hope of that being likely to change anytime soon.

  • David Spence

    • November 9th, 2015 13:37

    According the Ofgem, ISP’s are not allowed to use the expression ‘ upto ‘ in their advertising, but I see they are still doing it.

    I could setup an ISP and advertise it as providing ‘ upto 10mbps (mega-bits per second – not to be confused with ‘ mega-bytes ‘) and get away with it. Even if my ISP was only, at max, providing 2mbps, I can still get away with saying any speed I want with the ‘ upto ‘ descriptor.

    As well as this, I can also get away with Internet traffic slowing down your service considerably. Even if I know this, I do not have to mention it when advertising my ISP.

    Another ‘ con-trick ‘ ISP’s use is, allegedly, testing your line for what speed it can provide. In most cases, they send a signal from their location to yours, and base the speed of your Internet on this data. What they do not do is to actually test the line from your location to theirs, as in many cases, this is very much slower. In other words, although the Internet is a 2-way communications system, ISP’s only test it for only 1 way direction.

  • John Jamieson

    • November 9th, 2015 18:15

    Maybe it is a bit early to count chickens as a similar promise was made by Jeremy Hunt in Dec 2010 for completion by 2015.


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