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Tue, 11 August 2020

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Tory MPs fear over manifesto broadband pledge

Tory MPs fear over manifesto broadband pledge
2 min read

Tory MPs fear that the party will not hand consumers a legal right to faster broadband despite a manifesto pledge to do so.

During the election campaign Theresa May said every household would be able to request minimum broadband speeds under a new law, including homes in rural areas.

But BT has lobbied against the plans and confirmed to the Telegraph that it is pushing for a “voluntary” deal with the government to avoid new legislation.

More than 30 MPs have put their name to a report warning that BT must “up its game” and that legislation must be put in place. “Anything less” will be unacceptable, they said.

Former Tory party chairman Grant Shapps, who chairs the British Infrastructure Group that produced the report, warned that there must be no “backsliding” on the party’s manifesto promise.

"Our report calls for a Universal Service Obligation from internet providers to ensure that every business and home in Britain can receive broadband speeds above a minimum standard. Anything which falls short of this outcome will not be satisfactory to the many MPs, representing around 4m people, who have put their name to this report.

"The British Infrastructure Group is very keen to ensure that there's no backsliding on the manifesto pledge to provide high-speed internet."

The MPs’ report also calls for broadband providers to pay compensation to homes with broadband speeds that are below the legal minimum. It is “unacceptable” that Ofcom has not considered automatic compensation for slow speeds, it said. Consumer should also receive a £25 payment for “incidences of substandard service”, it suggested.


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