We are proposing funding regulations to compensate providers for universal services.
A ‘universal service obligation’ (USO) guaranteeing a decent level of home phone services has been in place since 2003. In March 2018 the Government introduced legislation for a broadband USO, to give homes and businesses the right to request a decent and affordable broadband connection. We welcome this, as an important building block to improving access to broadband services across the UK.
It now falls to Ofcom to implement the broadband USO. Earlier this year, we appointed BT and KCOM to deliver broadband USO connections and services, and we set the conditions that will apply to them. From 20 March next year, people can start making requests for these services.
As the ‘Universal Service Providers’, BT and KCOM are entitled to be compensated for any costs that it would not be appropriate for them to cover. In this document, we propose the rules and procedures these providers should follow to make a claim for any unfair costs involved in providing a universal service. These procedures would apply to the broadband USO, but also to any other universal service obligations.
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