Irish Communications Minister Denis Naughten has revealed plans to revise the country’s universal service obligation (USO) to make minimum broadband speeds of 30Mbps an ‘enforceable right’, reports to Silicon Republic. The move would see the current USO for telephony services updated from a basic copper connection, while it would need to serve home and business owners for 30 to 40 years, though is likely the USO will only be updated once Ireland’s National Broadband Plan (NBP), which aims to deliver broadband access throughout the country with particular focus on rural connectivity, has been rolled out. ‘We need to put the infrastructure in place first,’ commented Naughten, ‘But a legal right to high-speed broadband is the outcry and it needs to be done … Having a USO is critical, just like electricity, broadband should be a right and I want it as an enforceable right.’
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, under responsibilities of the recently configured Department of Regional Development, Rural Affairs, Arts and the Gaeltacht, companies interested in deploying the NBP are expected to be shortlisted as bidders in June 2016, with contracts to be signed by June 2017. The network is expected to be ready in 2022.