Two funding streams have been identified for the 2Mbps Universal Service Obligation and the longer term Next Generation Access broadband. The 50 pence per analogue line will raise about £180m a year and the diversion of funds from the unused digital TV switchover fund will account for £200m.
I guess my point is that in last year’s Caio Report the NGA network was estimated to cost £29Bn and a large proportion of this would have been spent in areas that currently can’t get broadband and would be in the USO area.. The per line cost of providing 2Mbps is probably not much less than the 40 or 50Mbps talked about in NGA.
So the funding identified for USO can only be a start and there is a scenario where they might just as well go straight for the fast stuff. It is good that the Government has recognised that the Digital Divide exists but they do need to do more.