This article is more than 1 year old

UK digital minister denies legal right to 10Mbps is 'damp squib'

Not even moist? OK. And he's pro-encryption, pro-security

UK digital minister Ed Vaizey has denied government plans for a universal service obligation of 10Mps are a "damp squib" but admitted the government will keep the target "under review".

Plans to give everyone in Blighty the legal right to 10Mbps were formalised in the unveiling of the Digital Economy Bill yesterday. They were first announcement by David Cameron last year.

However, many have slammed the target as lacking ambition in providing Blighty with a globally competitive digital infrastructure.

Speaking a breakfast briefing at the Salesforce World Tour event in London, Vaizey said the target was already twice as high as the universal service obligation for the rest of Europe. "I don't think it's a damp squib," he told The Register.

However, he acknowledged that while the target was useful for the hardest-to-reach-areas in the UK, there will be a need for higher speeds in the future.

"We will keep under review, we do not want to leave people on 10Mbps in 10 years' time when they might need 100Mbps," he said.

He also said plans to overhaul the electronic communications code to give mobile networks new rights to access land and deploy mobile phone masts represented an "exciting" opportunity to build infrastructure.

It is hoped that such a move will remove some of the planning objections which have previously slowed 4G rollout, such as the government's embarrassing mobile infrastructure project which fell substantially short of its target to bring mobile coverage to 60,000 homes in "not spots" by erecting masts.

On the subject of the controversial Investigatory Powers Bill, the minister said: "Clearly we have had this debate in terms of encryption and security for a while. Not a binary debate, that you are either pro security or pro encryption. Perfectly possible to support encryption, but understand the needs of security services [to keep us safe]."

He also re-iterated his hopes the UK would stay in the EU, a decision he claimed would benefit it economically by having access to the European Union. ®

More about

More about

More about


Send us news

Other stories you might like