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Broadband goal should be raised to 10Mb says UK regulator director

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The baseline for the UK’s broadband universal service commitment of 2Mb is too low and should be raised to 10Mb, a director of UK regulator Ofcom has said, according to a report from V3.

Steve Unger, the group director for group strategy of Ofcom made the comments during a discussion hosted by the think tank Policy Exchange.

Unger said he believed that 8-10Mb was now necessary to take advantage of modern web services, such as cloud computing and high definition video streaming, and that by 2020 even that might not be sufficient.

“It [the 2Mbps base] was determined by a range of factors about what was deemed necessary at the time to have a basic internet experience and that’s how we arrived at 2Mbps,” Unger is reported to have said.

“That’s clearly no longer the case, it’s more around 8-10Mbps now and this will evolve over time, so it’s unlikely that would still be sufficient in 2020.”

The Policy Exchange think tank recently published a report that stated two thirds of people polled thought that coverage was more important than speed.

The EU has set a minimum target of 30Mbps for 2020, and at the Broadband World Forum last year, Neelie Kroes, EU Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, called for “broadband for all”, and warned that future generations will “curse the missed opportunity” if the European broadband sector does not successfully make “tough political and investment decisions.”

The Broadband World Forum is taking place on the 22nd – 24th October 2013 at the RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre, Amsterdam. Click here to pre-register for the event.

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