David Cameron has promised to implement “fast broadband” into every home by 2020. This decisions has developed due to a consensus that has deemed internet connectivity a basic human right. By extension, you now have the grounds to justify those entire days spent watching cat videos.
Much like food and water it can be requested under a “universal service obligation”, which provides a legal right to provision. This will soon apply to Broadband connections within homes and businesses.
Earlier in 2012, ex-Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt declared that the UK would have the fastest broadband of any major European country. The basic mandatory quality of a high-speed connection is that it must offer a download speed of at least 24-30 Mbps, as defined by a number of experts within the government.
Cameron argues that the British government has a duty to provide a connection no matter where you live in the country. The Prime Minster hopes that this will help to boost the basic standard of living and with it the economy;
“We’re getting Britain – all of Britain – online, and on the way to becoming the most prosperous economy in the whole of Europe.”
Virgin media has criticized the plan due to the constraints the government places upon them. Virgin Media Chief Executive Tome Mockridge said;
“Government should roll back the red tape we already have today. Help us connect more premises more quickly by giving us the same fast-track access rights as water and gas companies.”
Recently, Virgin Media introduced a new scheme to provide free broadband for small businesses in 50 cities across the UK, with grants of up to £3,000 to cover installation costs. This was a joint effort with the Governments Super Connected Cities voucher programme, but despite the co-operation tensions seem high.
Virgin and a number of other broadband providers worry that if the plans are improperly implemented they will suffer as a result. Evidence of commercial viability seems to be necessity for the for-profit companies. Who would have guessed?
Whether or not the plans are actionable is yet to be seen, as it would certainly not be the first well intentioned, but over ambitious idea that quickly fell through in execution. However, the relevance that the internet has in this day and age cannot be overstated, so let’s just hope our government provided WiFi doesn’t suffer the same latency that trains do. Three hours and a stike to load a GIF seems a bit much.