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Ofcom Excludes Broadband From USO

Posted: 15th Mar, 2006 By: MarkJ
Ofcom appears to have ruled out including broadband Internet access into its Universal Service Obligations (USO). The regulator believes that the time still isn't right for its inclusion:

According to Ofcom, imposing a USO for broadband at this time "would be undesirable" since the broadband market is "still developing". And since the Government is determined to take a "technology neutral approach and let the market decide which technologies are most appropriate for different circumstances", it believes doing nothing is the best course of action.

"By imposing a USO and in choosing which suppliers were required to fill that obligation, the Government would define one particular technology as broadband. As well as conflicting with the Government's technology neutral approach, this could lead to imbalance in the market, less competitiveness and less consumer choice," said Ofcom in its report.


Realistically the excuse that it would have impacted the government's technology neutral approach doesn't wash. Had Ofcom truly desired then it could have adapted the USO to include reference to this diversity.

However the USO is a very strict requirement and including any new service is not something to be taken lightly. More @ The Register.
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