BT pitches $788m plan for faster United Kingdom rural broadband

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BT pitches $788m plan for faster United Kingdom rural broadband

Rivals argue that this is a stealth charge that effectively means United Kingdom broadband users will fund the rural internet rollout as their bills go up.

Chief executive Gavin Patterson has pledged to supply the whole country at a speed of 10 megabits per second (mbps) - the minimum needed to meet the demands of modern households, according to media regulator Ofcom. That level of service would allow a family to stream high-definition TV shows and movies, video conference and surf the web simultaneously.

The proposed agreement between BT and the Government covers most of the final 5pc of homes and business located too far from a roadside cabinet to get superfast broadband at 24 megabits per second or faster. United Kingdom politicians with rural constituencies in places like the Scottish Highlands are under pressure to boost broadband service.

The offer is being considered by the government. For now the government is continuing with its own regulatory approach while consulting on BT's offer. "Whichever of the two approaches we go with in the end, the driving force behind our decision-making will be making sure we get the best deal for consumers".

Linking rural broadband to the other wholesale review may be seen by some of BT's rivals as a quid pro quo regarding an already contentious topic that has divided the telecommunications industry.

In March, Ofcom published proposals to force BT to cut nearly £100m in charges to rivals using Openreach, which could result in millions of broadband customers seeing their bills slashed.

Under the proposed arrangement, which will be legally binding, BT will fund the introduction of the scheme itself and recover the costs through charges.

Fixed coverage would be the priority and BT expects to complete the roll-out by 2021 or 2022.

BT has offered to make high-speed broadband available to the one million-plus rural homes left behind in the internet revolution, potentially accelerating the process by which every household will have access to fast connections.

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