Over the weekend BT announced plans to offer high-speed broadband to 1.4 million rural homes by 2020. BT estimates that the proposed investment would cost between £450m and £600m.
BT’s offer comes after the government agreed to deliver a 10Mbps Universal Service Obligation as set out in the Digital Economy Act. The government is now said to be reviewing BT’s offer. Though BT’s offer is more attractive than the government’s slow roll out process it could mean that customers will have to foot the bill and 60,000 remote homes would still not receive the minimum speed because it would cost too much.
Sarah Lee, Head of Policy, Countryside Alliance said:
“Whilst this meets the Conservative pledge, the government has had long enough to deliver on this issue. There is no promise that BT will be able to meet these targets and that fast broadband will be delivered to the hardest to reach parts of the UK. It also means that independent suppliers will not be able to offer their own rural broadband service, creating less choice for customers.”