The Universal Service Obligation (USO) for broadband is a UK-wide measure intended as a “safety net” to deliver broadband to those premises that do not have access to a decent and affordable connection. The Government have defined a decent connection as one that can deliver 10Mbps download speed and 1Mbps upload speed. Ofcom has defined an affordable connection as one that costs less than £45 per month.

You may be eligible to request a connection under the Broadband Universal Service Obligation from a provider designated by Ofcom. In the first instance, you can approach the Broadband Universal Service Providers to check their eligibility and apply. For UK premises please visit: https://www.bt.com/USO

Are you eligible?

When you contact BT they will have 30 days to confirm if you are eligible, and how much it will cost to build your connection.

Your home or business will be eligible if it:

  • has no access to existing decent broadband; and
  • will not be covered by a public broadband scheme offered by the UK and devolved governments in the next 12 months.

If you currently only have access to a decent service that is priced over £46.10 per month, you'll also have the right to request a universal service connection.



The USO provides a legal right to request a decent broadband connection, up to a cost threshold of £3,400.

BT (and KCOM in Hull) have been designated as the Universal Service Providers responsible for fulfilling requests from eligible consumers.

What are the eligibility criteria?

Residents and businesses are eligible for the USO if:

  • they do not have access to a decent broadband connection (10 Mbps download speed, 1 Mbps upload speed and other specified quality parameters); or
  • if the only service available that can provide the minimum criteria costs more than £45 per month; and
  • the property is not due to be connected to a publicly funded roll-out scheme within 12 months; and
  • the connection will cost no more than £3,400 to build (or the customer has chosen to pay the excess above that amount).