Ofcom has started a consultation to decide which operator or operators should be given the responsibility for providing the broadband universal service obligation of the government (USO).
Commercial and government-funded implementations of superfast broadband mean that 95 percent of the British population now has access to fiber-optic services, but there is a recognition that some homes and businesses are at risk of lagging behind.
Under the terms of the USO, everyone in the United Kingdom will legally be able to demand a "decent" standard for broadband from 2020 onwards. The USO will initially define this as a 10 Mbps service, although it is possible that this can be increased in the future.
Ofcom says it wants to deliver the USO as quickly as possible, so that consumers and businesses benefit from it as quickly as possible and ensure that costs are minimized.
This last consultation will show which company the designated provider & # 39; must be able to provide services that meet the specifications of the universal service.
Not surprising, BT is one of the providers that throws his hat in the ring. Openreach won the lion's share of the public funding available through the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) initiative for superfast broadband deployment and had offered to finance and build 10 Mbps broadband for everyone in the UK instead of the USO. This proposal was rejected by the government last year.
Hull-based ISP KCOM has also shown interest, just like Fiber to the Premise (FTTP) network company Hyperoptic.
Less well-known names include Broadway Partners, which provides a broadband with fixed wireless access (FWA) using 5 GHz spectrum and TV White Space, and Quickline Communications, which provides services with a combination of fiber optics and FWA.
The interest of smaller and regional companies suggests that there is hope that Ofcom will decide on multiple suppliers, each of which is responsible for delivery in a certain part of the UK.