Ofcom consults on Broadband Universal Service Obligation

Ofcom consults on Broadband Universal Service Obligation

Ofcom today called for industry bodies to set out their interest in becoming Universal Service Providers of broadband – as mandated by the legislative order established earlier this year delineating the requirements of the Government’s USO.

The USO grants the right to consumers and businesses to request a broadband connection with download speeds of at least 10Mbps and upload speeds of at least 1Mbps. The USO will apply where there is not already, or no immediate plans to provide a broadband connection and funding will be capped at £3400.

Ofcom is obliged to implement the requirements of the USO and has adopted a transparent approach that will seek to deliver the USO as quickly as possible at minimal cost. Providers are invited to submit which geographic areas they would like to serve as well as how they will deliver the USO. Ofcom will then decide whether their objectives would be best met through the designation of a single Universal Service Provider or through multiple ones throughout the UK.

The publication today marks the first step in the process for Ofcom with the consultation running until August 20th. September will see a further consultation on procedural regulations on their proposals to designate Universal Service Provider(s) and who should be designated as well as the Universal Service Conditions. It is expected that the final decisions will be in place by Summer 2019.

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