Proposed modification to the Universal Service Conditions
Ofcom has launched a consultation to modify the universal broadband service rules, to clarify how BT should provide quotes to customers who have applied to be connected under the scheme. There are no suggested changes to the existing rules on how BT must assess USO connection costs.
Ofcom is proposing the following:
- Where excess costs are very high, BT can recover total excess costs before commencing build. When one customer makes a request, and excess costs are more than £5,000 (ex VAT) per eligible premises based on the forecast assumption of 70% take-up in the area, BT should inform customers of the total excess costs and gain agreement to cover these before building. One or more customers can cover all the excess costs of the build, including shared infrastructure.
- No changes to the assessment of premises where excess build costs are £5,000 (ex VAT) or below. Where excess build costs are £5,000 (ex VAT) or below, based on a forecast of 70% take-up, customers’ quotes should be based on this assumed take-up. BT must then provide any connection where a customer agrees to pay their quote. BT has agreed to apply this approach.
The consultation closes on 10 September 2021. Ofcom intends to publish its decision by the end of the year.