In 2018 the Government introduced a Universal Service Obligation (USO) for broadband provision, aiming for this to be in place by 2020 at the latest. It is now in operation.
Lots of people in Brentor who can’t access the Airband system have already registered their interest. If enough households do this there is a strong possibility that Openreach will install a superfast fibre cable from the Mary Tavy exchange to Brentor by pooling the government grant funding. Several years ago we were told that this would cost about £50,000, so in theory if there are 15 or more households eligible for the £3,400 grants this might happen! You can register interest by calling 0800 783 0223 – the staff you will speak to are very helpful and will require your name, postcode and address, email address and telephone number. It is free to do and there is no obligation to take up the grant if you later decide to withdraw from the scheme.
Devon Communities together have provided the following information:
Broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO) update
We are writing to inform you of the latest position on the broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO) which opened for applications on Friday 20 March.
As you may know, from that date, consumers and businesses who do not have access to ‘decent broadband’ (10 Megabits per second download speeds, 1 Mbit upload) will be able to request a USO connection up to a reasonable cost threshold of £3,400 per premise (this cost threshold can be combined across multiple premises).
The USO is just one part of an extensive programme of work to improve broadband connectivity in rural areas. The USO is intended as a safety net to ensure no-one is left behind on unreliable and slow speeds.
Ofcom is responsible for the implementation of the USO and has designated BT as the universal service provider.
Ofcom and BT will be launching a page on their websites which will go live on 20 March (see below). Ofcom’s website will contain key information along with a factsheet and details of who to contact for more information/queries.
Click here to see Ofcom’s factsheet
Who is eligible? There are two key conditions, consumers must:
- Have no access to commercial ‘decent broadband’;
- Not be within 1 year of UK Government or Devolved Administration supported 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 (or KCOM). BT will be mailing out to eligible customers.
Arrangements for monitoring and reporting progress of the USO will be through Ofcom’s Connected Nations reports.
If anyone in Brentor has further information please contact the website Editor, Colin Dawes, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about how this issue has evolved in Brentor click here
You can check your broadband speed by clicking here. (Just click the button marked ‘Start Speed Test’ below the two dials).