Connected Research

Union policy research in the 21st century

Select Committee inquiry into broadband

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Following the publication of the Digital Britain report, the Business and Enterprise Select Committee has launched an inquiry into broadband speeds in the UK.

Topics for the inquiry, according to the accompanying Press Release are:

– whether the target for universal access to broadband at a speed of 2Mbps by 2012 is sufficiently ambitious

– whether the government is right to propose a levy on copper lines to fund next generation access

– will the government’s plans for next generation access work

– are companies providing the speed of access which they promise to consumers

– the extent to which current regulation strikes the right balance between ensuring fair competition and encouraging investment in next generation networks.

Evidence to the inquiry will take the form of written submissions which must be with the Committee by 25 September.

Connect, which has supported the publication of the Digital Britain report and which last week passed a motion at its biennial conference committing the union to step up its campaign on high-speed broadband and to urge the government for a rapid implementation of the proposals, will take the opportunity of the inquiry to repeat the themes we have previously raised with the Digital Britain team concerning the 2 Mbps:

– that 2 Mbps must be a minimum speed delivered at the point of access by the consumer

– that a mechanism must be established by which that speed can be regularly reviewed to ensure that it maintains relevance

– that upload speeds ought to be based on the same minimum definitions, and subject to the same regular reviews, as the 2 Mbps download speed.

We will also, in the meantime, undertake further work on the issue of the 50p levy, part of which will encompass the response of Connect members to this blog post.

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Written by Calvin

30/06/2009 at 3:46 pm

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