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Ofcom Set March 2020 Launch for 10Mbps UK Broadband USO

Thursday, Jun 6th, 2019 (10:23 am) - Score 16,361

The national telecoms regulator, Ofcom, has today confirmed the final details for how the new 10Mbps+ (1Mbps upload) Universal Service Obligation (USO) for broadband – to be supplied by ISPs BT and KCOM – will be delivered and work once it’s introduced from 20th March 2020.

At present it’s anticipated that fixed line “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) ISP networks should be available to around 98% of premises across the United Kingdom by the end of 2020 (currently 96%+), which means that the focus of the government’s new USO will primarily be on helping to cater for those in the final 2%; estimated to be somewhere around 620,000 UK premises today but this number is continuing to fall (England 434K premises, N.Ireland 39.5K, Scotland 99K and Wales 47K).

The final 2% will thus reflect remote rural areas and possibly a few disadvantaged urban ones (Summary of the USO). However, the USO is NOT an automatic upgrade, which means it will give people the “legal right” to “request” a 10Mbps+ connection from a supporting ISP but such “premises will not be eligible for a USO connection if they are included in a publicly funded broadband rollout plan within the next 12 months.”

In addition, you might have to wait awhile before the ISP gets around to installing it. Ofcom states the “maximum time that consumers should have to wait to receive a connection is one year from the request date” (the regulator does expect ISPs to be quicker than this, provided it doesn’t result in disproportionate costs being incurred – details below). Otherwise the USO itself, as currently designed, is as follows.

10Mbps USO Specification

* A minimum download “sync” speed of at least 10Mbps (Megabits per second).

* A minimum upload “sync” speed of at least 1Mbps.

* A medium response time with end-to-end latency of no more than 200ms for speech applications (rules out Satellite).

* A maximum sharing between customers (contention ratio) of 50:1.

* A minimum data allowance of 100GB.

* A technology neutrality design (can be delivered via a mix of fibre based and / or wireless solutions).

* BT/KCOM will have 30 days to make an assessment about whether or not a consumer is eligible for the USO after request.

* BT must deliver every USO connection as quickly as possible and deliver at least 80% of connections within 12 months, 95% within 18 months, and 99% within 24 months of the confirmed USO order (this should help to manage the expected rush of early requests). KCOM must deliver a USO connection as quickly as possible and no later than 12 months after someone places their order, unless there are exceptional circumstances that make it more difficult.

* The USO must adopt uniform pricing (i.e. cost the same no matter where you live), with a maximum cap of £45 inc. VAT a month. People who only have access to a service priced over £45 per month will also have the right to request a USO connection.

* The UK Government stipulated in its legislation (Digital Economy Act 2017) that the definition of the USO speed should be reviewed when at least 75% of premises in the UK subscribe to a broadband service that provides a download speed of at least 30Mbps. This is likely to be a fair few years away.

Furthermore the obligation will be funded by industry (e.g. ISPs), have a cost threshold of £3,400 (i.e. you may have to help pay for it if the cost per property goes above this or forget the USO and go with Satellite) and support a form of demand aggregation (i.e. multiple properties could be used to bring the cost down by considering take-up).

NOTE: The £3,400 threshold is the same level as appeared under the old USO, which only supported basic internet access (dialup speeds) and telephone services.

On that last point, Ofcom states that where network infrastructure can be shared, build costs should also be shared between premises to determine whether the cost of provision to an individual premises would fall below £3,400. Using the regulator’s own example, if a cabinet served 100 premises and the cost of deploying FTTC was £100K, an assumed take-up of 70% would mean that the cost of upgrading that cabinet would be just £1,429 for each premise (note: other technologies, such as FTTP and 4G, could also be used).

At the time of the last update Ofcom proposed setting a 70% forecast take-up for the purposes of calculating the cost of provision of a USO connection (Broadband Deliver UK has shown that similar FTTC deployments are already reaching or exceeding c.50% take-up and BT is forecasting 61%), although the regulator initially felt as if 80% was a better long-term view (i.e. they chose 70% as the middle ground).

Ofcom’s analysis of the £3,400 threshold suggested that it could enable coverage for up to 99.8% per cent of UK premises.

Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s Consumer Group Director, said:

“As more of our daily lives move online, bringing better broadband to people and businesses is crucial. From next year, this new broadband safety net will give everyone a legal right to request a decent connection – whether you live in a city or a hamlet. This will be vital for people who are struggling to get the broadband they need.”

Jeremy Wright, DCMS Secretary of State, said:

“As part of our commitment to building a Britain that works for everyone, we’re giving every home and business the legal right to get a decent connection. I welcome Ofcom’s announcement today and look forward to seeing BT and KCOM connecting customers from March next year.

We’ve already brought superfast broadband to 96% of the UK and are pushing forward with delivering a nationwide full-fibre network by 2033, prioritising rural locations first.”

Suppliers, Cost and Technology Choice

Naturally the government has left the final technical challenges up to Ofcom. Among other things the regulator has had to decide A) who will supply it, B) what broadband technologies can be used to deliver it and C) precisely how the industry will support the necessary Universal Service Fund (USF) to pay for it all (cost-sharing mechanism).

Previous estimates from Ofcom and the BSG have noted that the 10Mbps USO could cost anything from around £200m and all the way up to £1bn (here), depending upon its design. Similarly BT’s now rejected voluntary proposal for delivering the USO put the cost at around £450m – £600m. Suffice to say that’s a lot of money and ultimately we could all end up helping to foot the bill.

Another challenge has existed in terms of supplier choice. Last year Ofcom said that five ISPs had expressed an interest in becoming a USP, including Broadway Partners, BT (Openreach), Hyperoptic, KCOM (Hull-only) and Quickline. After further work the regulator decided that only BT, KCOM and Hyperoptic satisfied all of their criteria, but the latter then withdrew (here).

Ofcom is now in the same position as they had with their original USO, with BT proposed as the USP for the whole of the UK (excluding the Hull Area) and KCOM covering Hull. We should point out that KCOM has now deployed FTTP (plus a tiny bit of FTTC) across their entire network area and so delivering the USP won’t be much of a problem.

Meanwhile BT (EE) has previously said that they intend to use a mix of Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) and Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) to meet part of the USO, which in some areas could be challenging for them within the stated time-scales. However both they and Ofcom now agree that fixed wireless (FWA) 4G can do the bulk of this.

BT further estimates that 110,000 premises will be difficult to reach and costly to serve (i.e. not eligible for a USO service unless consumers contribute to fund part of the roll out cost [above the £3,400 cost threshold set out in the legislation). In those cases they point to their co-funded Community Fibre Partnerships (CFP) scheme.

NOTE: BT has suggested that its fixed wireless coverage (4G) could substantially reduce the USO footprint by providing coverage to 450,000 of the estimated 600,000 eligible premises in 2020.

Philip Jansen, CEO of BT, said:

“BT is very pleased to have been chosen by Ofcom to deliver the Government’s promise to connect the UK. It’s great news that the majority of homes and businesses in rural areas can choose a fixed wireless service from EE to solve the problem of slow broadband and get speeds way faster than 10Mbps.

Through Openreach we are now extending our fibre broadband network to reach an additional 40,000 premises within the USO area for whom FWA is not the answer. We’ll continue to drive discussions with Ofcom, Government and industry to explore alternative options to connect up every property in the country and ensure no-one is left behind.”

Other ISPs have largely rejected any notion of taking on such a significant legal and financial burden (here). We will keep a close eye on all this and Ofcom will also be reviewing progress. As above, we’re particularly concerned about the potential for a rush of early requests to swamp existing resources and there’s also the issue of awareness (i.e. people may not even be aware of the ‘what, where and how’ of making a USO request).

We are currently in the process of reading the final document in detail in order to pick out any interesting bits and may update again later.


NOTE: The USO is set at 10Mbps+ but we expect that many of those who benefit from it will actually get near to or even above “superfast” speeds of 24Mbps.

Ofcom’s Final USO Statement (PDF)

UPDATE 10:51am

One crucial element that we’ve noticed in today’s report is that Ofcom still hasn’t finalised their funding (USF) approach and plan to consult on this during autumn 2019, which seems like a rather odd way of doing things (i.e. set out the final deployment / technology before you’ve finalised the cost / funding arrangements).

We [Ofcom] will consult on funding regulations in autumn 2019 which will contain:

a) procedures setting out how applications by the Universal Service Provider in respect of the net cost burden should be made;

b) procedures setting out how Ofcom will determine such applications (i.e. procedures for verification of the net cost and for consideration of whether or not the net cost represents an unfair burden on the Universal Service Provider, and if so, the extent of that unfair burden); and

c) provisions specifying how a fund would operate in the event that Ofcom determined that there was an unfair burden on the Universal Service Provider (i.e. who would contribute and in what proportions; and how funds would be collected and distributed).

uso 10mbps broadband map 2019

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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48 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Matt says:

    Would this mean much for someone like myself who has a min guaranteed speed of 11Mb on FTTC and getting about 14-15Mb? Hope the house a bit down the road is below 10? hahaha

    1. Avatar photo AnotherTim says:

      The USO won’t apply to you if you can sync at >=10Mbs down and >=1Mbps up.

    2. Avatar photo Joe says:

      That is as you say your best chance; many people just over USO might see work to get USO to others just below raise all speeds.

  2. Avatar photo NGA for all says:

    A countdown without agreement on how this will be funded is irresponsible, given this sends a signal to LA’s that they can now sick back and wait for BT’s to pay them capital and clawback intended to fix rural.

    BT is already including these costs (Capital Deferral) in their cost recovery and can now wait for another fund to be created to fix a problem for which they are already recovering costs.

    The lack of any reconciliation of BDUK’s subsidies and Ofcom’s modelling is sorely missing.

    1. Avatar photo NGA for all says:

      sorry ‘sit’ back, edit button needed.

    2. Avatar photo CarlT says:

      Believe it’s there to fix anything coming in below certain speeds, not just rural?

      Value for money is perhaps a consideration: see Gigaclear for how expensive FTTP to more rural areas is proving. The B4RN model may actually be a far better option than spending thousands per premises in taxpayers’ money.

    3. Avatar photo NGA for all says:

      CarlT – Overlying on existing Openreach is cheap, but that leaves what to do with buried cable. Gigaclear guessed correctly at Gavin Patterson’s lack of interest in the network and could win business even if buiding new. It shows just how much inflation was in the BDUK FRamework and hence everyone is counting ‘savings and efficienies’ while forgetting to complete the in-fill.

      I am now pleasantly surprised at the progress and I think the upside possible (to complete the in-fill budgetted) has been hard won and should be taken rather than shut down. I am not sure why BDUK have not published a full reconciliation including BT’s capital contributions even those contributions appear very late and played no part in the planned build. It would show just how much more is possible.

      We have not had ‘demand aggregation’ stage before build yet. There has been so far no need. It might now appear in Northern Ireland.

      I do not ‘get’ creating a B-USO fund from industry before existing funds are exhausted.

    4. Avatar photo CarlT says:

      Umm nearly a third of Gigaclear’s ‘premises passed’ aren’t serviceable which reeks of being desperate to inflate coverage figures and they’ve had huge cost and time overruns. Hardly something to celebrate.

      Looks an awful lot more like Openreach correctly determined that it wasn’t viable for them to pursue those contracts, Gigaclear didn’t survey properly and have ended up paying out in a big way.

      I’ve no idea what you’re talking about with regards to inflating costs though I would welcome the judicial review, etc, that are years overdue if the claims you repeatedly make on the Internet can be substantiated. Apart from yourself it seems no-one expected BDUK to do anything other than speed up deployments in most cases. 90%+ via FTTx was always going to happen in time, hence the clawback. It would’ve been pointless had there been no way, regardless of uptake, for the areas to provide a return on investment.

      I am genuinely lost as to what the problem is. FTTx rollout has been accelerated, taxpayers will hopefully receive a bunch of cash back so that it costs them nothing. You mention value for money in an alias elsewhere yet expect the taxpayer to fund thousands per premises passed in FTTP when monies can be returned to the taxpayer for more pressing concerns.

      It seems extremely likely that in at least some cases the USO will be used to save the taxpayer some money which is a good thing. Perhaps other subsidy schemes will come into play but I don’t get your fixation on spending someone else’s money providing FTTP to a relatively tiny sliver of the population given the benefits that money can accrue used elsewhere.

      In your opinion must public projects always spend every penny allocated to them whether it’s required or not? It is down the local and national government how to spend these funds. If they decide it’s value for money to push further they will, if they decide to allocate the money elsewhere they will, if you have issues with it a judicial review is an option and you can take the mass of data and facts you allude to here and elsewhere to that where it should be an absolute slam dunk if it’s all as self-evidently obvious as mentioned.

      I’m sure there’ll be some operators wanting that BDUK cash that would be delighted to fund such action. Indeed if it’s such incredible value for BT as you claim I’m surprised they won’t be doing it rather than having to fund 3.4k / premises in USO subsidy themselves.

    5. Avatar photo CarlT says:

      Simply: under this programme BT are responsible for the first 3.4k. This is better value for taxpayers than handing them the cost of a premises less 300-400GBP in subsidy.

      Those funds are funds that were earmarked for a project that has significantly underspent. If you believe there are legal or other issues with their being returned to taxpayers and spent on other priorities there are options. Otherwise I absolutely get why other programmes, focussed around significantly more commercial funding, are being put into play. There’s a fair amount local and national authorities can do with hundreds of millions.

      I’m quite sure BT aren’t jumping for joy at the prospect of the USO over further BDUK subsidies with their receiving subsidy up to their ‘normal’ commercial costs.

      Up to 3.4k / premises of BT’s money or 3.4k / premises of taxpayers’ money. It’s not really a difficult thing to understand the reasoning behind, is it?

    6. Avatar photo NGA for all says:

      CarlT .. the inflating costs is old but remains relevant see NAO 2015 para 3.10. It shaped everything else. Setting high budgets meant BT did not then access or plan to use the contracted Capital contributions which need to be used in later phases or not at all.

      Your should not compare Gigaclear (no network) and Openreach which only needs to overlay.

      The problem is more of an opportunity to do much more or to complete more in-fill. It was not intended to leave gaps. The budgets permitted in-fill. It needs to be completed.

    7. Avatar photo CarlT says:

      If it wasn’t intended to leave gaps why weren’t the targets 100%?

      By definition a target under 100% suggests the contract is intended to leave gaps.

    8. Avatar photo Jim Weir says:


      It’s not BT funds that make up the USO mechanism.

      BT group fund the build via Openreach and then reclaim any unfair cost burden from an industry fund… the unfair cost burden will be anything over what BTGroup normally invest per prem or cluster, so similar to a gap funded model but with a higher ceiling & option for end customer to contribute over the ceiling.

    9. Avatar photo NGA for all says:

      CarlT – go as far as the money would go was the understanding on both sides. Contracting for 100% with imperfect information is impossible but contracts are relationships of trust if they are to work.

      Jim – thanks I should have made that clear. Of the target <10Mbps – c340k are in urban areas so industry will paying BT to fix its networking. 140k are in greater London, including places like Holborn and Westminster. City not spots have not been excluded.

      It makes sense to make the existing public funds go as far as possible.

  3. Avatar photo Joe says:

    They obs gave up on their original timing they aimed to be ready for the end of the year in the last PR I saw.

    1. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Yes. Unsurprisingly BT wouldn’t have been ready in time (they raised this in the last consultation) and so Ofcom pushed it back a bit. In fairness it’s still being implemented in early 2020 and that was the original aim.

    2. Avatar photo Joe says:

      I wonder how ready OR will be regardless. With FttpOd pulling them one way and fibre first the other their resources to allocate another group for the messy USO deployment that falls somewhere between the two must be a headache.

      “which seems like a rather odd way of doing things (i.e. set out the final deployment / technology before you’ve finalised the cost / funding arrangements).”

      It seems a cheap jibe to point out this is ofcom, but really this is just so ofcom.

  4. Avatar photo AnotherTim says:

    In my area there are around 14% of premises below USO – however, Gigaclear are contracted to FTTP most of these, but the timescales are unclear (they are due to start in my area in around a year, but the build is likely to take more than a year, and they have already slipped dates several times by a couple of years in total). So I think that USO will be quite messy, with lots turned down as there is a build planned, and others above the cost threshold.

    1. Avatar photo Joe says:

      AT: There are some questions there I agree. A friend of mine is in a GC deployment area that looks likely not to be live for several years (based on delays but might in theory/plan be sooner) but they can already order fttpoD from a nearby bt cabinet. They are under USO. Wonder how they ofcom/uso will deal with that.

    2. Avatar photo Simon Heather says:

      Joe: FTTPoD isn’t supplied from the FTTC cabinets – it is connected to an Aggregation Node which can be much further from the cabinet location.

    3. Avatar photo Joe says:

      Simon: I know how fttp works thanks. The issues in my example is relevant to the topic. They are in theory getting fttp from GC inside the USO window (12m) but the reality is that they won’t get it in that time line. They can order fttoOD from OR atm. The question then becomes if they are under USO can they get USO now (potentially fttp – they’d pay a top up) or will the GC contract lead to USO refusal

    4. Avatar photo Joe says:

      For the avoidance of any doubt the cabinet/joint are only yards apart. lazy language on my part perhaps but…

    5. Avatar photo Fastman says:


      the joint and the Agg node are very different

      I would be very surprised to find many agg nodes anywhere near cabinets especially in rural area

  5. Avatar photo Guy Cashmore says:

    In my area (Devon, Lot 4, Airband) it is very unclear which properties can receive the service and which can not, CDS have admitted to me in writing that they don’t have and never will have accurate information in this respect.

    As this will directly affect USO availability and more significantly the aggregation of USO funding (which is supposed to be a key feature of the scheme), this is another issue that needs resolving and will potentially be a serious problem for my area.

    1. Avatar photo Joe says:

      Surely they will will have 30 days to give you an answer under the rules?

    2. Avatar photo Guy Cashmore says:

      For your own property yes, but what about your neighbours or every property in your village? How can aggregation function without this information?

    3. Avatar photo Joe says:

      I can’t see how you can answer your property in the case of airband without having to calculate the neighbours coverage. On aggregation you will get an answer that its over the limit then that should be withdrawn as other USO requests come in for the same village etc..changing the maths

      In theory at least!

    4. Avatar photo Guy Cashmore says:

      As we have learned, a single tree can block the signal, so while one property may be able to receive the service, the immediate neighbour may not. Individual surveys are needed to establish an accurate address list, work that hasn’t and isn’t being done. Unforeseen by CDS perhaps, but still a right mess when it comes to USO eligibility.

    5. Avatar photo Joe says:

      While i’ve seen plenty of bad surveys they ought at USO to know that many/all of these houses in an area will be USO and so do an area survey so far a practical when the get the first request in. Madness not to.

    6. Avatar photo Chris says:

      Some wisps can deploy to somewhere nearby and fibre rest of way if clear line of sight is an issue. Pretty sure airband is doing this (rural optic?)

  6. Avatar photo Mike says:

    Have they found a solution for EO lines though?

    1. Avatar photo Guy Cashmore says:

      FTTP if you are lucky, 4G likely to be the default, satellite if you are unlucky!

    2. Avatar photo AnotherTim says:

      Satellite isn’t likely to be a USO solution as it doesn’t meet the latency requirement – LEO satellites will meet that but won’t be operational for a few years yet.
      Personally I suspect 4G will be the best solution for many, with lucky ones getting FTTP, and unlucky ones getting the chance to pay a very large excess charge to get anything.

  7. Avatar photo Meadmodj says:

    Jansen’s statement appears to imply the 4G option will be marketed via EE. EE already have a combined broadband checker offering a 100Gb product at £40+. I am assuming those that qualify and require external aerials will be subsidised by the USO for the aerial?. Higher volumes of 4G Routers and aerial installers will bring cost down. As ORs current FTTP capacity will be taken up to meet the targets a push on the 4G option has to be the way for BT, particularly if there is a wide awareness and take-up of the USO.

    There will be clusters of USO that may result in OR implementation but I can’t see them being a significant motivator for FTTP in the 2020/22 period.

  8. Avatar photo Mark says:

    Para 3.34 of the Ofcom document states that “The EE 4G home broadband service has packages with comparable pricing and data caps to fixed wired broadband packages.”
    Comparing apples with apples, “Superfast fibre essentials” has a similar average speed to 4GEE, and is priced at £37.99 per month before discounts, including unlimited data and your line rental. To get a “typical” data allowance of 300 GB via 4GEE costs at least £60 a month, plus £12 phone line rental at the discounted “no broadband” rate.

    On which planet is twice the cost regarded as “comparable”? They can’t even get the date right – claiming in the same paragraph that it was launched in Feb 2018. We’ve had ours since Jan 2018, and it wasn’t a brand new service then….

  9. Avatar photo Optimist says:

    By how much will consumer bills go up to finance this “industry fund”? Also, as broadband is now considered an essential service like water, gas or electricity, then surely the VAT rate levied should be reduced accordingly?

    1. Avatar photo Joe says:

      Well they’ll go up by the levy obviously! VAT is an interesting idea but legally hard in the EU. Personally I’d rather up the bills with a charge to fund the levy. Be honest what it takes to pay for the upgrade.

    2. Avatar photo Meadmodj says:

      Looking at the TB map below 10Mps are everywhere (multiple reasons). The current USO definition is precisely to contain costs. Many of those qualifying will be able to use a 4G Router without anything else. Those needing aerials will probably only need a £150 install (based on recent satellite dish cost). Ofcom (re-Government) will be hoping most of the cost will be included within the commercial offering and therefore not require USO subsidy. As 4G becomes more widespread 4G as an alternative to slow ADSL may pick up also so I think we can expect more competitive non-USO products from mobile operators but these may be postcode specific to protect revenue and avoid mobile congestion.

      I think the USO should simply be considered as just an expedient uplift driven as usual by politics to take some of the heat off while those outside the planned FTTP rollouts await another decade for Ultrafast. BT knows that it cannot hold on to these 4G customers long so may use the USO contract period to consolidate FTTP where the USO densities justify. Only those without any alternative will get initial OR investment.

      So my view is the majority of any industry levy will probably go to towards very rural OR FTTP where there is no USO alternative.

    3. Avatar photo NE555 says:

      “Suffice to say that’s a lot of money and ultimately we could all end up helping to foot the bill.”

      Let’s say the total cost is £500m, and it’s spent over 2 years, and there are 25 million households in the UK – that would only be £10 per household per year for 2 years. Money well spent I’d say.

      Then prices should return to where they were before. Somehow I doubt that’s going happen though 🙁

  10. Avatar photo KingRoo says:

    So, if I have this right USO will basically be 4g mobile broadband for most of those that are eligible, and BT (EE) already have had this available for quite some time at a cost of £40 pm for 100gb.

    1) USO cannot be charged more than £45 pm so surely this just means that ee will increase it to that price in due course?
    2) How many of the 450,000 that BT says will be 4g are actually in coverage right now.
    3) Presuming it’s all if not most , why haven’t they all ordered it already?
    4) How does contention ratio of 50:1 work with 4g?
    5) If a premises is covered by 4g but would like to aggregate with other nearby properties to get a fixed line service (FTTP.) Would this be considered?

    1. Avatar photo Mark says:

      1) Their 100 GB package moved to this price point during the USO obligation, so unlikely to be coincidental.
      2) “In coverage” just means a minimum of 10 Mb/s down with an external antenna. This is a far lower bar than judging it on handset performance. We have a rock steady 50-90 Mb/s at the modem with a decent antenna, but the phone frequently loses signal altogether inside the house….
      3) I was surprised by how few customers EE claimed were actually using this service, but the key is probably in their earlier USO consultation submission, where they admit to managing the takeup through pricing (i.e. keep it relatively expensive until market forces force the price down).
      5) Definitely not, unless through something like a Community Fibre Scheme. BT/EE rely on 4G as their “get out of jail free” card for not installing fixed lines. I’m disappointed that there doesn’t appear to be anything in the final version of the USO recognising 4G as a transition solution, but I guess the same applies to FTTC on the (unfunded) aspiration to full fibre in the 2030s.

    2. Avatar photo Mark says:

      It will be interesting to see how 4GEE develops over the next year or so. BT aspire to “one network”, irrespective of method of delivery, so the logical next step is to introduce packages for USO customers only that offer the same benefits as fixed line broadband (i.e. unlimited data, BT Sports, and genuinely comparable pricing). This would probably require a SIM that is locked to the customer’s local masts (say all within x km) to prevent abuse. Does anybody know if this is technically possible to do with current technology?

    3. Avatar photo Meadmodj says:

      There are various ways BT can restrict the 4G USO products but it has to be mindful of bad publicity, regulation, existing unlocking etc. They may simply restrict the products by retaining ownership of kit with any USO subsidy only applying to the installation challenges. For many it will simply be a 4G Router in the post.

      I have a Huawei B325 working in the loft on its paddle aerials as a trial. An external aerial made no improvement.

      An important fact is that USO can spring up virtually anywhere and BT need a uniform offering that is not too complex to support. We will have to await more clarification later in the year regarding BT’s approach and whether there will be a single solution or a choice for example 4G Router only, Router/External Aerial or utilising a wall mounted modem (like a cut down Zyxel LTE7460) cabled down to the normal ISP WIFI router. BT’s biggest advantage is its purchasing power. Hybrid DSL/4G balancing routers have also been proposed but I don’t know if that could apply to the USO proposals. Certainly a high wall/pole modem would put off most people from changing SIMs.

    4. Avatar photo Meadmodj says:

      Actually its a B315s-22 up there.

  11. Avatar photo No says:

    100GB download allowance is absolutely pathetic. And download allowances shouldn’t even be a thing any more.

    I can blow through that in a week with the amount of Linux distros I grab.

    1. Avatar photo FibreFred says:

      The USO should cater for the average user.

      Does the average user blow through tons of Linux distros each week?


    2. Avatar photo No says:

      Perhaps not, but streaming sure as hell will eat into that.

      Not to mention things like Steam, game updates, etc, etc.

  12. Avatar photo Lawrence says:

    The fastest speed available to me on the openreach network is 6mbps adsl. But virgin media is also available. Does this mean I wouldn’t be able to request a USO connection?

  13. Avatar photo Sean Doherty says:

    Under the BT USO will customers be forced to take a service from them or will they be free to chose an ISP.

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