The Countryside Alliance welcomes the opening of applications of the broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO). The USO is a welcome step forward on bridging the digital divide where there has been market failure in delivering broadband to all parts of the UK. The USO is intended as a safety net to ensure no-one is left behind on unreliable and slow speeds. Consumers and businesses who do not have access to 'decent broadband' (10 Megabits per second download speeds, 1Mbit upload) will be able to request a USO connection up to a reasonable cost threshold.
Ofcom is responsible for the implementation of the USO and has designated BT as the universal service provider together with KCOM (as telecommunications provider for the Hull area).
You can find futher information on Ofcom and BT websites.
Who is eligible? There are two key conditions, consumers must:
- Have no access to commercial 'decent broadband'
- Not be within 1 year pf UK Government or Devolved Administration support rollout (with a defined date for delivery)
If consumers have access to a decent service that is priced more than £46.10/month, they will also have the right to request a universal service connection.
Consumers will be able to check if they are eligible by contacting BT.