UK regions currently without broadband should be at the head of the queue when it comes to getting next-generation networks, according to Ofcom.
The regulator's Consumer Panel said in a new report that communities that missed out on the initial broadband rollout should leapfrog other areas this time around.
The chair of the Ofcom Consumer Panel, Anna Bradley, said the issue of serving areas without broadband needs to be addressed before work begins on installing the next-generation networks. "We already know that the economic case for next-generation access will not stack up in some areas, and we can predict which areas that will be," she said. "So let's address these issues alongside commercial rollout, not after it," she said in a statement.
A Consumer Panel spokeswoman told sister site silicon.com: "We're not asking for ISPs to pay but we could nevertheless ask Ofcom to make clear what the shape of regulation could be so that the cost implications are clear."
She added: "It's about asking [ISPs] to identify where the black spots are and then look at alternative funding models."
Next-generation broadband could bring speeds of up to 100Mbps, which Ofcom said should deliver new services that will bring "huge benefits" to UK consumers, including giving hard-to-rearch regions access to telemedicine and remote eduction.
According to recent figures from the Office for National Statistics, one third of UK homes are still without internet access.