Broadband: Standards:Written question - 69555

Asked by Chi Onwurah
(Newcastle upon Tyne Central)

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 06 July 2020
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Broadband: Standards
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the report entitled, UK’s internet use surges to record levels, published by Ofcom on 24 June 2020, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to amend the broadband universal service obligation requirement of latency sufficient for (a) voice calls only and (b) voice and video calls.
Answered by: Matt Warman
Answered on: 09 July 2020

The Electronic Communications (Universal Service) (Broadband) Order 2018 already stipulates that Universal Service Providers must provide a broadband connection which is ‘capable of allowing the end-user to make and receive voice calls over the connection effectively’.

The speed and technical requirements of the Universal Service Obligation (USO) were set on the advice of Ofcom based on the broadband requirements of a typical household, including both voice and video calls. The USO acts as a digital safety net for households unable to access a broadband service that meets these requirements at present.

Section 72A of the Digital Economy Act 2017 includes a requirement for the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to give a direction to Ofcom to review the broadband USO when at least 75% of premises in the UK subscribe to a broadband service that provides a download speed of at least 30Mbps.

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