A few months ago, I wrote a column for PC Plus suggesting that bandwidth was a utility that should be available to everybody.
If unrestricted, fast internet access is something we need – and from where we’re sitting, it is – then perhaps the solution is to expand the USO, the Europe-wide Universal Service Obligation that means every EU citizen must be able to get a landline if they want one. It doesn’t cover broadband, but it could – and if it offered financial sweeteners to providers while mandating net neutrality, it could deliver unfettered high-speed access to everyone.
Today, The Guardian reports:
[Lord] Carter is understood to be considering replacing the universal service obligation under which BT must provide all with a phone line, brought in when BT was privatised, with a new industry-wide obligation to provide broadband for everybody.
In other columns I’ve suggested making the Internet nicer by automatically emailing every post, email and comment to your mum for approval. I’ll let you know if the government goes for that one too.