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Universal Service Obligation (USO)

Randomcastle

Casual Member
I believe that from March, if my fixed line speed is below 10 mbps, (or costs more that £45 pcm but I'm not interested in that angle) I can ask my ISP to upgrade it.
Can someone clarify:
1. Is that from 1 March? If not, what date?
2. Who do I contact? eg my provider is JLP/Plusnet, and they use Openreach/BT. Do I go through JLP, or do I need a contact in BT?
3. Do BT have to provide a fixed line solution or can they offer 4G, presumably via EE?
4. I tried to get a CFP scheme together last year, but the costs were unrealistic. What are people's thoughts on going back to interested parties and suggesting they try the USO angle as well? Might an approach from 20 or 30 households force BT's hand to deliver a more strategic solution?

Thanks in advance
 

sheephouse

Regular Member
You should be able to request a USO connection from 20th March from BT - the exact mechanism is yet to be announced.
For most people BT are likely to offer a 4G solution. They have 30 days to respond to the request, and if it goes ahead they have a target of 80% of connections being built within 12 months of a confirmed order.
 

Green Meanie

Casual Member
CFP’s may still work in your favour as new voucher schemes are available, plus with the OR builds going on, it may now be cheaper than originally quoted.
 

Randomcastle

Casual Member
You should be able to request a USO connection from 20th March from BT - the exact mechanism is yet to be announced.
For most people BT are likely to offer a 4G solution. They have 30 days to respond to the request, and if it goes ahead they have a target of 80% of connections being built within 12 months of a confirmed order.
Thanks. Should be interesting watching them trying to get an EE 4g connection. Tried that - no joy. What's next? FWA? Airband were unable to get a LOS to any of their masts. Watch this space!
 

Mark8253

Regular Member
One minor but potentially important addition - 3G/4G from anybody (not just EE) counts as a USO connection, as long as it meets the 10/1 Mb/s speed and data volume requirements. And that is outdoors with an external antenna, not indoors on a phone. Quite some potential here for disputes in marginal reception areas...
 

sheephouse

Regular Member
Yes, I'm looking forward to the response when I apply - although I'm pretty sure what it will be. Not only can I get 4G a little above USO, but BT's dslchecker has my ADSL2+ line with a max observed sync speed of over 10Mbps and 1.1Mbps up (although I have never seen real uploads anywhere near that). I know ADSL2+ isn't expected to meet USO, but if they have seen a connection >1Mbps will that count? I'll find out in a few weeks...
 

Randomcastle

Casual Member
One minor but potentially important addition - 3G/4G from anybody (not just EE) counts as a USO connection, as long as it meets the 10/1 Mb/s speed and data volume requirements. And that is outdoors with an external antenna, not indoors on a phone. Quite some potential here for disputes in marginal reception areas...
thanks for the clarifications. Coincidentally I just saw a very welcome uptick in my 4G Voxi/Vodafone connection speed last night - from an average of 17 mbps to 35 (d). I'd prefer a landline connection, but if this holds good I'll be happy. Happier still because some months ago Voxi SMS'd me to say that whilst they were upgrading network to 5G they were putting me on an unlimited tariff. Still on it!
 
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