Amendments to the Digital Economy Bill that would have ratcheted up the minimum broadband connection speed that people in the UK can expect to 30Mbps have been dropped by the House of Lords.
It comes as a result of the impending election, according to the Financial Times, and the desire of the government to rush policies through parliament as part of the usual "washing up" process to speed through unresolved bills before campaigning starts in earnest.
Back in February, the House of Lords declared 10Mbps "unfit for usage in a very short time" (Computing would agree - this speed is barely enough to support a standard HD Netflix stream), while at the time Ofcom and the government argued that the "universal service obligation" should be raised over time.
It appears with the 8 June 2017 election as an excuse, the government now has its wish, although the Financial Times source also points out that a final debate, also involving BBC regulation and ticket resale laws, could still take place this week before the rushed-through bill becomes instant law.
The present government - including David Cameron's cabinet before Theresa May's current one - however, has a marked history of saying one thing and doing another with regards broadband policy.
Ex-Minister of State for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries repeatedly quoted that "90 per cent of UK homes and business" had already achieved "superfast" broadband speeds.
What wasn't being mentioned was that, while fast broadband was usually being delivered to cabinets, the ‘last mile' between cabinet and home was often still comprised of ancient copper cabling, that BT's Openreach scheme had come nowhere close to replacing.
The "independent" speed tests the government chose to quote were estimating speed between cabinet and home, with no way of knowing the true speeds.
A UK facing at least several years of future legislation in which 10Mbps is deemed a legally acceptable minimum could potentially cost the country opportunity in the global digital business landscape - arguably needed now more than ever as the country speeds towards Brexit.
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