Upgrading broadband via the Broadband ‘Universal Service Obligation’ (USO) scheme.
As of 20 March 2020 the Better Broadband Scheme has now been replaced by the ‘Broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO)’.
- Eligible households have a legal right to request a decent (download speed of at least 10MB – i.e. you can comfortably stream programmes) and affordable (less than £46.10 per month) broadband connection.
- There is a postcode checker on the BT website that you can use to check eligibility.
- If eligible, BT have a process of checking the requirement cost.
- If the cost of the upgrade is less than £3,400 plus VAT you do not have to pay. If the cost is higher, you will pay the excess, and will have an opportunity to review the quote before proceeding.
Once you have registered, you will be notified by text and email whether they can upgrade free of charge or if there is a cost over and above the £3,400 plus VAT threshold. If the latter, they will proceed to obtain an estimate before calling you to confirm.
Ofcom are quoting that the connection should be completed within 12 months.
If, at this time, a broadband connection is not feasible, there is an option to apply again if anything changes (such as a nearby broadband upgrade).
For properties unable to upgrade via this route, it is worth investigating 4G internet (which tends to have the best coverage) or satellite internet. Online resources are available to view your coverage.
The process of finding out eligibility is relatively simple, but the other routes can be more complicated, so if you wish to have any help with this please do contact your local Brown&Co office