Mil­lion-pound plan to boost UK ru­ral in­ter­net

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT / INTERNATIONAL - Re­becca Penty

BT GROUP is propos­ing a £600 mil­lion (R 10.22 bil­lion) plan to bring faster In­ter­net cover­age to the ru­ral UK, to be paid for by charges to other broad­band users.

The for­mer phone mo­nop­oly’s Open­reach whole­sale di­vi­sion would by 2020 build con­nec­tions en­abling broad­band down­load speeds of at least 10 megabits per sec­ond for al­most all of the re­main­ing 5 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion that doesn’t cur­rently have them. That level of ser­vice would al­low a fam­ily to stream high-def­i­ni­tion TV shows and movies, video con­fer­ence and surf the web si­mul­ta­ne­ously.

The pro­posal fol­lows months of talks be­tween BT and the gov­ern­ment over how to im­ple­ment a univer­sal ser­vice obli­ga­tion pledged by Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May’s Con­ser­va­tives.

UK politi­cians with ru­ral con­stituen­cies in places like the Scot­tish High­lands are un­der pres­sure to boost broad­band ser­vice. – Reuters

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