IF YOU'RE PART of the two per cent of the country that can't get a decent broadband connection, then good news. You can start downloading Celebration by Kool and the Gang, and hopefully it'll have finished by the time Ofcom's speed guarantees come into force in March 2020.
The Universal Service Obligation (USO) will guarantee consumers and businesses connection speeds of at least 10Mbps with upload speeds of 1Mbps priced at £45 per month or lower. These figures are just a starting point, with Ofcom stating that they can be adjusted "as the amount of data people use changes."
Hopefully, if you're reading this, the changes won't affect you. But the perils of a painfully slow internet connection affects some 620,000 homes and offices around the country, most of these in remote areas.
That number may be reduced by the time the USO comes into force, of course, but if not then the speed guarantee kicks in. Under the terms of the USO, customers will be able to contact KCOM (Hull) or BT (everywhere else), which will confirm within 30 days whether or not the complainant is eligible for an upgrade.
If there aren't plans in place to connect them within the next 12 months, then the country picks up the tab - albeit with a cap.
"Under the legislation for the new service, the cost of providing connections to eligible homes will be paid for up to £3,400," Ofcom explains. "If the required work costs more than that, customers can either pay the additional costs or seek an alternative solution outside the universal service, such as satellite broadband."
That's a substantial subsidy, and something to look forward to in 2020 when you can catch up with all the good stuff on the internet you might have missed. We've heard good things about that there YouTube. µ
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