Designing the Broadband Universal Service Obligation – Ofcom consultation opensMatthew Evans
Following the recent (and ongoing) Government consultation on the approach to take to introduce a Broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO), Ofcom is now consulting on its design and implementation. Ofcom was commissioned by Government to produce an evidence-based report by the end of this year which will address thorny issues from the scope of the USO to its funding mechanism.
Ofcom’s consultation, opened until 23 June 2016, covers the following areas:
- Specification and scope of the USO
- Demand for the USO
- Cost, proportionality and efficiency of the USO;
- The universal service provider or providers;
- Funding of the USO and potential market distortions;
- Review of the USO
A progress report summarising stakeholders’ input will be published in August 2016,
The BSG recently hosted an event exploring the above questions. Whilst it was recognised that the availability of good quality broadband in the UK was a priority, the choice of the best tools to achieve this goal raised a number of concerns. The design and implementation of a USO willrequire a careful assessment of its potential impact on the industry and on the market in general.
The BSG will continue to engage with stakeholders, watch this space.