I think the words from Ed Vaizey are not what was actually meant, since the USC is still a part of the contracts and some councils are exploring wireless and satellite solutions. He meant Con/LD got rid of the 2 Mbps by 2012 first, and decided to adopt a 90% superfast with 2 Mbps for the rest, but that has now change to 95% and if the final 5% pilots work out, then the solutions and cost for that will be known.
I agree entirely - that Ed Vaizey's answer at the bottom refers to the old unfunded policy from the ex-government, blown away by the coalition.
My mistake was in just linking to the whole debate, when I specifically meant to refer to just Anne Marie Morris's question - which I don't think got answered... and I've since seen more indication (offline) that the USC no longer appears to be part of the framework contracts.
Where I heard it from was not part of the framework contract anyway, so it is hard to tell what is really going on - but I think there is something in there.
get satellite or BET vouchers a plenty
I've seen nothing about the reasoning why they've decided that the USC can be removed from BT, but now you mention it, I vaguely recall that the funds will be re-allocated into a connection voucher scheme for satellite.
Perhaps the voucher scheme would have to be non-technology-specific, so could allow for BET too. Or maybe even a sub-SF-speed WISP. Anything that gave 2Mbps+ would do.
IIRC, BT's oral response to DEFRA was that they thought they'd meet 98.5% of the USC requirement just by the NGA deployments, which suggests that there isn't a huge chunk left. Perhaps the conclusion is indeed that it can be left to (subsidised) satellite.
Knowing that more money for superfast is on the way (the 95%) and then more for beyond that and go for getting much faster speeds without the satellite step.
I agree that the emphasis, moving forward, keeps most minds on the superfast rollout. Organisations used to dealing with the public masses will now tend to focus in just that direction.
As a individual waiting longer to get any improvement is a real pain, as a nation building to hit superfast targets probably is better value for money. Doing the two at once was always going to be interesting.
And they probably really should have been doing three things at once...
What we are now seeing for the "final 5% market test" pilots doesn't seem to be anything that is hugely technically advanced. If those projects were done a year earlier, we could have seen a wireless/satellite phase 3 happen in parallel with a fixed-line-fibre phase 2.
Although if they did that, we arguably wouldn't have had a USC target at all.