A Universal Service Obligation (USO) comes from EU and UK legislation. Its aim is to address a perceived shortfall in a service, or range of services, to customers. Since 2003 the UK has a USO for voice services, payphones and an affordable scheme for low-income customers (which we call BT Basic). We’ve been designated as the Universal Service Provider (USP) to make these services available across the UK (KCom do the same in Hull).

In June 2019, Ofcom named BT as the UK’s universal service provider for broadband (along with KCom in Hull) with the new scheme to be available from 20 March. This USO service was launched on time and is now in operation.

BT is entitled to recover some of the additional costs incurred to deliver a USO service from other telecoms providers. In November, Ofcom published its proposals on the rules and procedures we will need to follow to make a claim. These processes will apply to the broadband USO, but also to any other universal service obligations. We have responded to the consultation and Ofcom are due to publish the statement shortly that will confirm how any compensation scheme will work. 

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