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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Genuinely interesting Ofcom idea: extend universal service, 2Mbps inadequate for video calling

"3.15 It may be time to review public policy around universal service (3.65 to 3.66). The current universal service commitment, set by the Government in 2009, specified that every household should have broadband access of at least 2Mbit/s.16 It may now be time to review that policy, as consumer expectations of broadband rise along with the availability and take-up of faster broadband. There is evidence that broadband of at least 10Mbit/s is required to support typical consumers’ use. Below that speed, overall broadband performance is generally impaired. Indeed, use may be constrained for broadband below this threshold, because some applications will not work properly, if at all.
"Upload speeds are also an important consideration (3.85 to 3.86). This is especially the case for services such as high quality video calling. The average upload speed in the UK is currently 3Mbit/s.

"3.86 Figure 25 below shows that the distribution of upload speeds is skewed towards the lower end, with 80% of connections having an upload speed of less than 2Mbit/s."

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