William Eichler 05 August 2016

Minimum download speed must be ‘enshrined in law’, says councils

Minimum download speed must be ‘enshrined in law’, says councils image

The Government must enshrine the national minimum standard of broadband speed in law because public services are becoming ‘digital by default’, council chiefs say.

Whitehall pledged in November 2015 to give everybody the legal right to request a broadband connection capable of delivering a minimum download speed of 10Mbps by 2020.

This is known as the Universal Service Obligation (USO).

Responding to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) that reveal an upward trend in internet use, the Local Government Association (LGA) urged the prime minister to make the USO law.

‘It is paramount that the Government maintains momentum and presses ahead with plans to enshrine the USO in law,’ said Cllr Mark Hawthorne, the chairman of the LGA’s people and places board.

Cllr Hawthorne also called on ministers to increase the amount of indicators the USO must meet.

Pointing out the ONS data reveals the majority of people under 44 use the internet to upload content, he recommended upload speed as well as download speed should be an indicator.

The LGA also emphasised the commitment of local authorities to the Superfast Broadband Programme, pointing out they had contributed around £740m of the £1.7bn invested in it, and said their ‘Up to Speed' campaign aims to ensure every resident and business has access to faster broadband.

‘Good digital connectivity is a vital element of everyday life for residents and can help them cut household bills, stay in touch with distant relatives, file tax returns and, increasingly, run their own businesses,’ Cllr Hawthorne said.

‘As central and local government services become ‘digital by default', more people will need to have faster and more reliable broadband speeds.’

Sutton Councils IoT pilot project image

Sutton Council's IoT pilot project

David Grasty, head of digital strategy & portfolio for Kingston and Sutton Councils, outlines how in-home sensors have improved the safety of vulnerable residents living in social housing.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Fostering Team Leader

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£49827 - £52866 per annum
FOSTERING TEAM LEADERRoyal Greenwich Fostering Service is a vibrant and exciting place to work. We are an innovative Fostering Service that is providi England, London, Woolwich
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Network and Programme Manager – Highways & Drainage

Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council
£41,881 - £44,863 per annum (Grade 11)
We are looking for an experienced, motivated and enthusiastic person to manage our Network Management and Streetworks teams. Neath, Neath Port Talbot (Castell-nedd Port Talbot)
Recuriter: Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council

National Marine Park Interim Chief Executive

Plymouth Sound National Marine Park
£80,000 to 90,000 dependent on experience
We are now seeking to appoint an inspirational and entrepreneurial interim Chief Executive, on an initial 2 year fixed term appointment, to... Plymouth, Devon
Recuriter: Plymouth Sound National Marine Park

Senior Accountant x2

Islington London Borough Council
£39,462 - £45,594 per annum
There are two roles currently being advertised, one working with our Resources finance team, and one with our Housing and Public Health finance team. Islington, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Islington London Borough Council

Team Leader Building Works

Bedford Borough Council
£38,890 - £43,857 per annum
Building Services are seeking an enthusiastic Team Leader to oversee the Building Works team direct labour unit. Bedford, Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Bedford Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue