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In 2016, regulators in several countries turned their attention to the implementation of a universal service obligation (USO) for broadband. These cases have highlighted the variety of approaches that can be taken toward a broadband USO.


  • The UK's Ofcom has provided the government with technical advice on a broadband USO; the Australian Productivity Commission has proposed a USO reform because of the development of the NBN; and the Swiss Federal Communications Commission (ComCom) has increased the minimum broadband speed it will have to deliver.

Features and Benefits

  • Highlights recent initiatives to introduce or reform broadband USOs in Australia, Switzerland, and the UK.
  • Highlights the different approaches governments can take toward broadband USOs.

Key questions answered

  • Which regulators have recently considered introducing or reviewing a broadband USO?
  • How do approaches to broadband USOs vary across countries?

Table of contents

Ovum view

  • Summary
  • Broadband USOs are being introduced in Australia and in the UK
  • Broadband speeds in USOs vary greatly across countries, in line with the ambitions of regulators and policy-makers
  • Broadband USOs are found more in mature markets than in emerging markets, but they are likely to be important in both


  • Further reading
  • Author

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