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EU - No Broadband Under USO
By: MarkJ - 12 April, 2006 (2:53 PM)

The UK has already excluded broadband from its own universal service obligations and unsurprisingly the EU's official stance has followed suit. The EU USO ensures that every European has access to a landline service if they want it:

However, with broadband, the Union has decided that because so few people currently use it, the cost of forcing ISPs to blanket the continent with high speed internet access "would exceed benefits to users". Around 25 per cent of households in Europe are now broadband-enabled.

Information society commissioner Viviane Reding added that the provision of such services should be left up to the market to decide, except in regions where geography can hamper deployments.

"Stakeholders also generally agree that the concept and provision of universal service which safeguards access to basic but vital communications services for disadvantaged users, does need to be updated for the internet age," she said in a statement.

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