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Standard User mr_mojo
(knowledge is power) Wed 28-Mar-18 08:44:58
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USO: Who is eligable


[link to this post]
 
Hi,

I currently have hyperoptic which is great, but BT provides ~5mbit/sec ADSL with no FTTC (despite having a cabinet).

Would I be eligible for USO service from BT (thus forcing them to upgrade to FTTC/gfast/FTTP)?

It's obviously not a major concern but I'm unhappy being entirely reliant on hyperoptic in case they go bust (unlikely) or suddenly start ramping prices really high for people with no other choice (slightly less likely).

So if you can get an alternate provider at >10mbit/sec, does that rule out eligibility, or is it just for openreach services? Not sure how far ofcom would take this if so - I bet a load of USO properties could access >10mbit/sec on LTE, for example.
Standard User ian72
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Wed 28-Mar-18 09:08:24
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Re: USO: Who is eligable


[re: mr_mojo] [link to this post]
 
There is no USO yet - see the news article on TBB's front page. USO is due by 2020 but at present no service so no suppliers are yet signed up to it.

As you already have Hyperoptic you wouldn't be covered by the USO anyway as you are already capable of getting a service way above the USO threshold. The USO is designed to make sure a service is available not a choice of services.

It isn't even yet clear if Openreach would be the USO provider.
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Wed 28-Mar-18 10:45:17
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Re: USO: Who is eligible


[re: mr_mojo] [link to this post]
 
You are now famous wink. The article Ian refers to has a link to your post smile. In the final paragraph.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - AAISP Home::1 80/20. 200GB. Sync 71456/14100Kbps @ 600m. BQMs - IPv4 & IPv6


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Standard User mr_mojo
(knowledge is power) Wed 28-Mar-18 10:51:01
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Re: USO: Who is eligable


[re: ian72] [link to this post]
 
Ok, but tbh anyone can access gigabit broadband if they have the £££ for it - so where does the line stop?

What if hyperoptic got acquired and then ramped prices up to £1000/month? Would that be covered by the USO?

EE now offer 4G Home Broadband - if you can get access to that - are you therefore not eligible for USO? Between the 4 main LTE networks I'd be very surprised if by 2020 a very high proportion of would otherwise be eligible for USO will be covered by >10mbit/sec 4G.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Wed 28-Mar-18 11:02:31
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Re: USO: Who is eligable


[re: mr_mojo] [link to this post]
 
The line stops at £3,400 install cost and £1,000 a month would fail reasonable costs criteria obviously.

EE 4G Home Broadband is very much aimed at the USO market, so yes it may be that in some areas this is your USO option i.e. fixed line as you have now or 4G from EE

The same applies for Fixed Wireless services being available.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User pipcoo
(newbie) Wed 28-Mar-18 11:03:11
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Re: USO: Who is eligable


[re: mr_mojo] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by mr_mojo:
EE now offer 4G Home Broadband - if you can get access to that - are you therefore not eligible for USO? Between the 4 main LTE networks I'd be very surprised if by 2020 a very high proportion of would otherwise be eligible for USO will be covered by >10mbit/sec 4G.


The problem with 4G (for me at least) is the usage caps. I am unable to get fixed line BB but get 4G/LTE with Vodafone at usually 20-30 meg D/L speeds. I have a data allowance of 65GB a month for £45. It allows me to have a usable connection but you have to keep an eye on usage at all times so as not to run out or run up big charges.
Standard User baby_frogmella
(fountain of knowledge) Wed 28-Mar-18 11:05:47
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Re: USO: Who is eligable


[re: mr_mojo] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by mr_mojo:
What if hyperoptic got acquired and then ramped prices up to £1000/month? Would that be covered by the USO?


That would be financial suicide. Also I very much doubt OFCOM would allow a residential/SME ISP (even it got acquired) to suddenly start charging punters 1k per month when they've been paying less than 100 notes per month. So its probably an irrelevant question wrt USO.

Out of interest are you not happy with your Hyperoptic connection?

FluidOne FTTP On Demand 330/30 Mbps
Linksys EA9500v2
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Wed 28-Mar-18 11:07:47
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Re: USO: Who is eligible


[re: mr_mojo] [link to this post]
 
The point of the broadband USO I donít think is to enable anything more than the prevention of (often ongoing expense-causing) inability to access effectively the internet in general, and government/council/medical and educational services in particular.

This doesnít mean high throughput volume has to be cheap, as it is with many landline providers. There are an increasing number of mobile network products with plenty of allowance to enable access to these plus online shopping and most educational needs. This will only increase. Plus 5G is on the way.

I donít think streaming TV and Netflix etc. is what the USO is about.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - AAISP Home::1 80/20. 200GB. Sync 71456/14100Kbps @ 600m. BQMs - IPv4 & IPv6
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Wed 28-Mar-18 11:10:13
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Re: USO: Who is eligible


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
USO is a safety net.

If the USO was designed to be a full fibre on demand roll-out programme I am certain current Government would frame it as such.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Wed 28-Mar-18 11:16:38
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Re: USO: Who is eligible


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Exactly.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - AAISP Home::1 80/20. 200GB. Sync 71456/14100Kbps @ 600m. BQMs - IPv4 & IPv6
Standard User mr_mojo
(knowledge is power) Wed 28-Mar-18 12:36:19
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Re: USO: Who is eligable


[re: baby_frogmella] [link to this post]
 
Yes, I am aware, it was a hypothetical. What if they put the prices up to £100/month if they realised they were the only provider on an apartment building and had it more competitively priced elsewhere? Would that be reasonable cost? They could do that and I bet a lot of people in London (like me) would be stuck paying it as new build flats (until very recently) often had dreadful EO broadband options from BT. I don't see why ofcom would do anything, they're pretty much entirely out-with their regulatory remit.

I like hyperoptic but being entirely reliant on one small niche ISP is annoying.

TBH I don't think 4G with usage caps should count towards it either. It isn't a true broadband service - all mainstream ISPs offer unlimited on the fixed line market. If it was an unlimited product that would be fine but I doubt it would actually meet USO speeds ironically with congestion at peak times as there isn't the spectrum there (especially on LTE800).
Standard User ian72
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Wed 28-Mar-18 12:43:27
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Re: USO: Who is eligable


[re: mr_mojo] [link to this post]
 
It is part of the Ofcom implementation to decide on what "reasonable cost" is and also on what you should get for that cost (ie if usage caps are acceptable). Ofcom still probably have some work to do to dot the i's and cross the t's to get the USO in place.

It is interesting that you are concerned about Hyperoptic being the only supplier. This is always a concern but is the result of Ofcom enforcing regulations for an open market - this is what it was designed to do. If Openreach had plans to bring broadband to your area then Hyperoptic probably wouldn't be there at all and you could be left with significantly slower speeds as is the case for most of the country. You are in a position that many would envy but there are downsides.

The other question would be if Ofcom did enforce a USO to ALL properties on Openreach despite them already having other options then how much loss is reasonable for Openreach to take - if cheap fibre is already available then Openreach probably wouldn't get much custom for their investment and so it would be subsidised by other customers who don't have the option of full fibre - that hardly seems fair.

The bigger issue I think you face is if the performance drops significantly. You might still be paying a reasonable price but you could find that latency (for example) suddenly goes to the point where services like online gaming become impossible - you couldn't move supplier but issues like that may not come under the remit of any USO.
Standard User baby_frogmella
(fountain of knowledge) Wed 28-Mar-18 13:02:30
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Re: USO: Who is eligable


[re: mr_mojo] [link to this post]
 
Hyperoptic have spent a lot of their own money to bring full fibre to many residential properties (usually MDUs in built up areas). They will want a return/profit on their investment and the best way to do that is to get as many punters on board as possible, which means attracting people with sensible prices. Pricing their residential products for £100s per month will ensure they go tits up (bust) quicker than you can say "boo" to a goose. You may be willing to pay significantly higher monthly prices with Hyperoptic but the majority of their other customers won't be - hence it would be financial suicide for them.

FluidOne FTTP On Demand 330/30 Mbps
Linksys EA9500v2

Edited by baby_frogmella (Wed 28-Mar-18 13:03:59)

Standard User mr_mojo
(knowledge is power) Wed 28-Mar-18 14:39:15
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Re: USO: Who is eligable


[re: baby_frogmella] [link to this post]
 
Yes, but they have taken on a spectacular amount of debt financing (not equity) to very aggressively roll out further. It would not take much for them to go seriously wrong with the amount of debt they've loaded themselves on (eg: NTL, Telewest back in the day).

I'm not sure I agree, most properties in London they are in cost £2000-10000+/month to rent, even £100 is pretty minimal compared to the cost of rent/ownership.

I can very easily see them screwing up the rollout, being too aggressive, then the debt holders run the show and sweat the assets very aggressively to try and get as much money out of it.
Standard User mr_mojo
(knowledge is power) Wed 28-Mar-18 14:46:29
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Re: USO: Who is eligable


[re: ian72] [link to this post]
 
Not true, most places with Hyperoptic have both that and openreach FTTP available. My last flat had Hyperoptic & OR FTTP.

Nearly all new apartment buildings going up will have hyperoptic (because they work with landlords closely) and OR FTTP (because OR will only put fibre in with new copper in new apartment buildings). I just missed out on this and even had Openreach wayleave signed for fibre but they pulled out at the last minute as they didn't have enough resource due to the new policy of all newbuild MDUs having fibre (apart from mine!).

I really thought the USO would apply to openreach, not a patchwork of dozens (hundreds?) of potential supplies, including often very fly by night fixed wireless access operators.
Standard User ian72
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Wed 28-Mar-18 15:06:48
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Re: USO: Who is eligable


[re: mr_mojo] [link to this post]
 
Why should the USO only apply to Openreach? Why should they bear the burden of all the costs?

I think the crossover of both Hyperoptic and Openreach FTTP will be a small percentage of the UK. New build flats where Hyperoptic have a presence may be "common" in some areas but as far as the country is concerned it is a microscopic amount. If you can get both then you are incredibly lucky to have such an abundance of choice. I suspect you live in a very specific part of the country where this is happening; most do not have that luxury.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Wed 28-Mar-18 15:43:30
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Re: USO: Who is eligable


[re: ian72] [link to this post]
 
And a USO that saw people using the 'fund' to roll-out where other affordable options were available would

a) Not be popular among those with no options and were seeing delays in service delivery due to volume of work
b) Lead to legal challenges
c) Cement further the idea Openreach = Broadband
d) Reduce opportunity for others to use some USO work as a means to expand footprint further

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User mr_mojo
(knowledge is power) Wed 28-Mar-18 17:29:25
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Re: USO: Who is eligable


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Hmm. But Openreach are the only ones AFIAK that have a USO on providing a (standard) telephone line. And as far as I know even if there was a virgin phone line in the house you'd have a legal right to ask openreach to fit a BT one.

Not sure why the broadband one is radically different. In my eyes there are two sets of broadband providers:

Openreach - regulated and have to offer other providers
Everyone else - not really regulated to any of the same extent and don't have to offer other provides access

I don't see how a USO works if you are forcing people onto some unregulated, unwholesaleable other provider that can change pricing, service etc as and when they want. It would be a bit like saying 95% of the country gets access to the NHS and the other 5% gets access to some private healthcare provision at some unregulated cost and considering that universal healthcare.

I would have no issue with including say Virgin (or indeed hyperoptic), assuming they were also forced to offer a regulated wholesale product with similar terms to openreach.

If I set up a wireless ISP with a tin can VDSL backhaul and a few poles, does that now meet USO? Even though I have no experience running an ISP, the backhaul isn't sufficient, etc and I'll probably go bust in a few months?

I would expect some standards to be applied for what is considered actual USO eligable. If it's just topline 10mbit/1mbit speeds with no real consideration of price, usage caps, contention, reliability etc it's very shorted sighted imo.
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Wed 28-Mar-18 18:05:04
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Re: USO: Who is eligible


[re: mr_mojo] [link to this post]
 
AIUI, in the USA huge areas have only a single provider. If the customer doesn't like it, that's tough.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - AAISP Home::1 80/20. 200GB. Sync 71357/13895Kbps @ 600m. BQMs - IPv4 & IPv6
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Wed 28-Mar-18 18:34:59
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Re: USO: Who is eligable


[re: mr_mojo] [link to this post]
 
If you believe that fixed wireless providers should be excluded from the USO plans then you should make your case, and by your theory so should Gigaclear and other full fibre operators too.

3 decades of regulation to reduce the influence of an old body that was once called the GPO and I don't think you are going to win.

NOTE: With the new rules for Openreach nothing stopping them increasing the price of the 80/20 services to compensate for loss of revenue from the 40/10 product.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User Ignitionnet
(knowledge is power) Thu 29-Mar-18 09:35:59
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Re: USO: Who is eligible


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by MrSaffron:
And a USO that saw people using the 'fund' to roll-out where other affordable options were available would

a) Not be popular among those with no options and were seeing delays in service delivery due to volume of work


Wouldn't really amuse those paying for it through higher bills either. People who have relied on purely commercial deployments of usually hybrid technologies can reasonably be a little upset if their taxes are going towards subsidising FTTP via BDUK and their higher bills going towards providing those who already have gigabit access alternatives.

EDIT: To change the poor spelling in the subject.

Edited by Ignitionnet (Thu 29-Mar-18 09:36:35)

Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Thu 29-Mar-18 10:14:36
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Re: USO: Who is eligible


[re: Ignitionnet] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Ignitionnet:
EDIT: To change the poor spelling in the subject.
There were four earlier posts with it correct wink.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - AAISP Home::1 80/20. 200GB. Sync 71357/13895Kbps @ 600m. BQMs - IPv4 & IPv6
Standard User hvis42
(regular) Thu 29-Mar-18 10:52:50
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Re: USO: Who is eligable


[re: mr_mojo] [link to this post]
 
What if they put the prices up to £100/month if they realised they were the only provider


If they did that, someone else would eventually appear to sell the service for less. This is the part where competition kicks in. In the recent announcements in Southwark (SE16), both Gigaclear and Hyperoptic will now start a large, mostly overlapping project there. Which indicates there is interest to compete even with the current £35/150Mbps pricing level.

If Hyperoptic singled out just your building to charge £100/month, they would need to change their advertising, starting from their web pages. If everyone pays £35, they can advertise that. If it is a different price based on where you live, they would need to change to "prices starting from .... please contact us to get an individual quote", which does not quite sound the same. A lot of hassle for being able to gouge a few extra quid from those who do not have any choice. They would also need to constantly update their "rip off" -address database and remove £100 pricing as soon as competition appears. Managing this could well cost more than it ever generates in revenue.

And last, USO is not a proposal to provide cheap and fast internet for everyone. It is only focusing on the "fast" aspect (which of course can be debated but in another discussion). If you have fast internet available but you are not happy about its cost, USO is not the mechanism to fix this for you, and it was never meant to be.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Thu 29-Mar-18 11:10:56
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Re: USO: Who is eligable


[re: hvis42] [link to this post]
 
Gigaclear in SE16? I think you mean Community Fibre

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User hvis42
(regular) Thu 29-Mar-18 11:36:36
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Re: USO: Who is eligable


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Might be. Probably. There was Hyperoptic and someone else. Anyway, there are two, which means competition will work at least in urban areas also in the future, and being the only fast internet provider is not a carte blanche to charge ridiculous prices.
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