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Standard User JT_WHC
(newbie) Mon 17-Feb-20 11:13:39
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Universal Service Obligation (USO)


[link to this post]
 
Apologies if in the wrong forum...

I have a few questions on the upcoming USO in March

I live in a small Highland village with approx 50 houses over a long stretch of c. 10 miles
We have max 0.5mb connections for BT broadband
A mobile mast is expected to go live within 3 months which will provide 4g broadband

For our BT landline connections, we currently get a maximum of 0.5mb due to the exchange being an Activate Exchange which has no date for being upgraded to 21CN. We have no plan-for-a-plan for any form of fibre implementation (R100 may deliver in 3+ years?)

I am therefore encouraging the village to exercise their right under the USO
I know that OR are expected to consider the upgrade costs up to £3,400 but have seen confused messages regarding what happens if the USO upgrade cost is greater than £3,400 per premise
The OR consultation mentioned an industry fund if OR say the cost is greater than £3,400. Others suggest the property owner would have to pay any costs above £3,400

1 - Are OR obligated to consider all houses in the area when assessing the costs of a USO upgrade (or only those that have applied)?

2 - Who pays for the USO upgrade if the cost is greater than £3,400?

3 - If 4g broadband is available then do OR pay for the 4g broadband installation as they are effectively replacing the BT broadband connection? Note that we know the 4g coverage will not reach everywhere as explained in the 4g computer-projected coverage area

Thanks in advance for any info

John
Standard User ian72
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Mon 17-Feb-20 12:22:49
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Re: Universal Service Obligation (USO)


[re: JT_WHC] [link to this post]
 
If you have a mast coming then BT will possibly say that satisfies USO. As far as costs it would be the router and monthly costs - no different to what you would pay for if fixed line broadband was available so no, BT wouldn't pay for it. Afraid I don't know the answers to your other questions.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Mon 17-Feb-20 12:39:53
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Re: Universal Service Obligation (USO)


[re: JT_WHC] [link to this post]
 
IMPORTANT

USO falls on BT and not Openreach. Openreach will quote and do whatever work BT decides it wants in relation to USO, but spending is down to BT

The industry fund will be what is used for the up to £3,400 properties. Beyond that is the householder

50 houses and 10 miles means even if flat a single 4G mast is not enough and FTTP costs are going to be high.

R100 is probably the best bet still.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.


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Standard User JT_WHC
(newbie) Mon 17-Feb-20 14:29:11
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Re: Universal Service Obligation (USO)


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
couple of thoughts

1 - there is a fibre cable that has been laid to our local exchange that connects to the mast so is it possible to share the physical fibre cable even if they cannot share their broadband connection?

2 - will BT be obligated to pay for any aspect of the 4G installation if we exercise our right under USO?
Standard User ian72
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Mon 17-Feb-20 15:05:47
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Re: Universal Service Obligation (USO)


[re: JT_WHC] [link to this post]
 
1 - It will specifically for mast backhaul, this will almost certainly be a different type of implementation and unlikely to be shareable. The infrastructure is likely designed differently to that for FTTP

2 - No. 4G I think will be considered a viable alternative considering how cheaply you can get it - in fact in many cases it may be cheaper than fixed line broadband even with "unlimited" data. The only part BT might have to pay for is infrastructure but if a mast is already planned then they wouldn't need to do that either.

Edited by ian72 (Mon 17-Feb-20 15:06:17)

Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Mon 17-Feb-20 15:20:33
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Re: Universal Service Obligation (USO)


[re: ian72] [link to this post]
 
If 4G can deliver the 10 Mbps connection speed down and 1 Mbps up then it will be considered job done.

For most people this means you apply under USO and they will say, sign up to this 4G plan. Only if the signal is marginal will fitting an external aerial to the property be considered.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User sheephouse
(member) Tue 18-Feb-20 12:59:25
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Re: Universal Service Obligation (USO)


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
If 4G can deliver the 10 Mbps connection speed down and 1 Mbps up then it will be considered job done.


Unfortunately I think that will be exactly what happens for most USO properties. I use 4G, which is (usually) above USO levels, but well below any "superfast" level. The view from politicians will be "job done", and they will push on with FTTP to areas which already have "superfast" or "ultrafast" broadband available. Those with USO level connections will be left further and further behind.
Standard User MCM
(knowledge is power) Tue 18-Feb-20 15:46:57
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Re: Universal Service Obligation (USO)


[re: sheephouse] [link to this post]
 
Those with USO level connections will be left further and further behind.
Nevertheless for many thousands, currently 687,643, the USO minima of 10/1 will be above what they are currently able to achieve. If you think the USO levels should be higher then lobby your MP to press for them to be increased and then be prepared for everyone to pay more for their connection to cover the cost.

Note that £3,400 is currently equivalent to 17 years line rental.
Standard User sheephouse
(member) Tue 18-Feb-20 16:02:03
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Re: Universal Service Obligation (USO)


[re: MCM] [link to this post]
 
Yes you're probably right - we shouldn't make anyone with cheap gigabit connections that have been subsidised by the taxpayer via BDUK pay more.
After all, those with sub-USO connections will be grateful for 10Mbps which will of course allow them to fully take part in all the online activities available (unless they want to stream HD, or play Stadia, or Skype, or work from home, etc.).
Standard User MCM
(knowledge is power) Tue 18-Feb-20 16:22:53
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Re: Universal Service Obligation (USO)


[re: sheephouse] [link to this post]
 
May I ask have you looked in to seeing if you can obtain better speeds? I ask because I live in central London, south of the river, on a long EO line. Exchange based ADSL2, VDSL (FTTC) commercially non-viable and no BDUK. No Virgin Media. Neither Lambeth nor GLC prepared to help.

What I did was get together with others and with some help from Openreach we paid for the installation of an AIO cabinet to supply our homes. Openreach contributed what they would have spent if a commercial upgrade, we found the remaining £18,000. We've enjoyed the benefits of VDSL connections now for the last 3½ years.
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