The government has rejected BT’s voluntary offer to connect remote homes to superfast broadband and will enforce the legal right to an upgrade.
The government has promised access to speeds of at least 10 Mbps by 2020.
Openreach, owned by BT and responsible for the infrastructure, offered to speed up improvements to 1.1 million rural homes.
The government believes the regulatory Universal Service Obligation offers “certainty”.
Under the plan, broadband providers will face a legal requirement to provide high-speed broadband to anyone requesting it, subject to a cost threshold.
Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said:”We are grateful to BT for their proposal but have decided that only a regulatory approach will make high-speed broadband a reality for everyone in the UK, regardless of where they live or work.”