British homes and businesses will have a legal right to high-speed broadband by 2020, the government said Wednesday, dismissing calls from the network provider BT that it should be a voluntary rather than legal obligation on providers. From a report: Ministers originally considered adopting BT’s voluntary offer, which would have seen it spend up to 600 million pound ($804 million) giving 1.4 million rural residents access to speeds of at least 10 Mbps. However, in a statement today, the government confirmed that it now will go down the regulatory route as it provides “sufficient certainty and the legal enforceability that is required to ensure high speed broadband access for the whole of the UK by 2020.” Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said: “We know how important broadband is to homes and businesses and we want everyone to benefit from a fast and reliable connection. We are grateful to BT for their proposal but have decided that only a regulatory approach will make high speed broadband a reality for everyone in the UK, regardless of where they live or work.”
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