Possibility of Fibre Broadband in Kingscote

Summary from Tony Wooldridge

There is a possibility that BT might install a fibre broadband network in Kingscote Parish within the next year or two. Anyone who feels the need for fibre broadband is encouraged to express an interest by contacting BT on: https://www.bt.com/broadband/USO

Details of the scheme

In March 2020 a new scheme was launched under the Universal Supply Obligation (USO) which allows BT to seek funding for installation of fibre broadband in areas where the current broadband speed is considered inadequate. The USO scheme is funded by a levy on internet service providers – at least up to a limit of £3,400 per household. Further details are available at: https://www.bt.com/broadband/usoterms

Households are eligible if:

– Download speeds are less than 10Mb/sec and upload less than 1Mb/sec

– There is no connection via a 4G hub

– There are no plans to get access to adequate broadband through a publicly-funded scheme within the next 12 months.

I have checked with BT that the existing microwave link via Voneus does not affect eligibility for fibre broadband under the USO. I am less sure whether the Gigaclear plans to install fibre broadband would affect funding via the USO, but Gigaclear are not expecting to get their network operating in Kingscote within the next 12 months (early 2022 is now mooted).

The Application Process

There is no obligation involved; one simply enquires whether one’s household is eligible under the USO and what the cost of installation might be. I requested a quotation recently and have been advised that there would be no charge (see below in italics) – I presume this means that BT has concluded there are sufficient eligible households in my locality that all the installations could be fully funded by the USO levy.

I would encourage any household wishing to get faster broadband to contact BT and express an interest. I was advised by BT that having many such requests might speed up the process.

Tony Wooldridge

Email from BT dated 28 Oct 2020

Hello Tony,

Good news – based on our estimate, you shouldn’t need to pay anything for us to build a new broadband network.

However, if the cost of building the network increases significantly, you might need to pay an extra charge for the work to continue. We’ll let you know if that happens so you can decide what to do.

We’ll be in touch again soon with details of when the work will start. For now, you don’t need to do anything else. Once the work starts, it could take up to 24 months to complete, or longer in some cases. But we’ll keep you updated.