BT selected as UK’s broadband universal service provider

Telecom regulator Ofcom is set to designate BT as the UK’s broadband universal service providers, while KCOM will handle the Hull Area.
BT broadband for homesThe decision follows UK Government’s legislation to start a broadband universal service obligation (USO).

BT and KCOM will be providing decent broadband connection to eligible homes and businesses. The government legislation says eligible homes and businesses will have the right to ask for decent broadband connection.

Ofcom received 8 applications and found that BT, KCOM and Hyperoptic satisfied three following criteria:

# Can they finance the delivery of the service?

# Would they cover more than 5,000 eligible premises in each chosen local authority?

# Would their proposed technology meet the technical specification?

Hyperoptic subsequently withdrew its interest in being a universal service provider. The other companies – Airband, Bentley Walker, Broadway Partners, Quickline and Viasat – did not satisfy all three criteria, Ofcom said.

BT will be the universal service provider across the whole of the UK excluding the Hull Area, and KCOM for the Hull Area.

Other operators have the opportunity to come forward if they wish to be considered as a universal service provider during the consultation process that will close on 13 February 2019. Consumers can make requests for broadband connections from the end of 2019, Ofcom said.