This proposal has come up because Ofcom is responsible for the implementation of a legislation introduced in March by the UK government for a broadband universal service obligation (USO).
The USO is to to give eligible homes and businesses the right to request a decent broadband connection. The proposal will see BT as the universal service provider across the whole of the UK except the Hull area, which will be provided for by KCOM.
Internet access is growing rapidly, yet large groups of people remain unconnected to the Internet. As of 2015, about 43% of people had access to the Internet (in developing countries only 34%). Access to ICTs is part of the Sustainable Development Agenda, which commits to ‘significantly increase access to ICTs and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020’ (Goal 9.c).