From 20th March, homes and businesses across Scotland have a new legal right to a request a decent and affordable broadband service under the new Universal Service Obligation (USO) for Broadband. USO was legislated for in 2017 as a service that has at least 10 Mbps download speed and 1 Mbps upload – a welcome business improvement particularly for those working from rural areas of Perth and Kinross.
BT was designated by Ofcom to deliver this new legal right and are currently making every effort to keep people connected at this vital time. They have assured PKC leaders that they have more than enough capacity in their UK broadband network to handle mass-scale home-working although there are, as you’d expect, a number of issues to be considered at this time.
Coronavirus Updates from BT
Resourcing the USO customer service team is an acute problem as staff continue to follow Government advice in response to the outbreak. The level of service we will be able to provide will therefore be substantially lower than it would be in normal circumstances.
The ability of Openreach to survey eligible premises – to assess whether the cost of upgrading their line would be above or below the £3,400 thresholds – is expected to be significantly affected for the foreseeable future as engineers prioritise the maintenance of critical services and vulnerable customers.
Constituents will be able to undertake an initial check of their eligibility at www.bt.com/uso. This will enable them to find out if there are existing BT services already available to them and then place an order. BT expect this will help the majority of people.
BT has made clear that once the situation stabilises they will be writing to all Perth and Kinross constituents who may be eligible to receive the USO to advise them on how to request that service. Those communications will, for now, be delayed.