All Sections

Osborne promises 100Mbps broadband for (nearly) all

The government intends to deliver “at least 100Mbps” broadband to almost every home in the UK, according to George Osborne.

Speaking during his annual Budget speech, the Chancellor of the Exchequer revealed the government’s plans to invest heavily in improving the country’s mobile networks, the Internet of Things and their intention to deliver a good standard of broadband to “nearly all UK premises”.

“We’re committing to a new national ambition to bring ultrafast broadband of at least 100 megabits per second to nearly all homes in the country, so Britain is out in front,” Osborne said.

Mention was also made in the full Budget report of the need to support the delivery of broadband to rural areas. That includes upping the Universal Service Obligation, which is the legal entitlement to a base level of service, from dial-up to 5Mbps, plus subsidies for people who need to have superfast cable or satellite services installed in their property.

Mr Osborne also said that the Government intends to free up the 700MHz spectrum, formally used for television to “further enhance the UK’s mobile broadband connectivity.”

Osborne added: “we’ll use up to £600 million to clear new spectrum bands for further auction, so we improve mobile networks. We’ll test the latest satellite technology so we reach the remotest communities.

“We’ll provide funding for wifi in our public libraries, and expand broadband vouchers to many more cities, so no-one is excluded.”

The Chancellor failed to chime-in with any concrete information regarding how the government intends to get cracking on its promises, however, leading the cynical among us to wonder whether the pledge to deliver a brighter, more connected Britain was sincere, or just empty bluster designed to win votes during the build up to May’s General Election.

Comments