BSG publishes cost analysis of broadband USO
The Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG), the UK government’s advisory group on broadband, has published a report1 which analyses the cost of implementing the country’s 10 Mbps Universal Service Obligation (USO) and compares it to the proposed 30 Mbps USO (backed by the House of Lords2 in February). Commissioned from Plum Consulting, the report estimated what the net costs would be to deliver the services with various levels of data usage and the outcomes possible in terms of achieving universal coverage. Commenting on the findings, the BSG stated that they highlight the complexity of designing a broadband USO that is both cost-effective and maximises the number of premises.
In particular, the report found that the cost threshold for each premise is extremely sensitive (this is the maximum cost per premise at which the Universal Service Provider would be required to provide the broadband USO service). Without any cost threshold constraints, it would cost GBP 930 million to provide a 10 Mbps service to 500,000 eligible UK premises in 2019. This would drop to GBP 180 million at a cost threshold of GBP 2,000 per connected premise, when assuming a certain level of Universal Service Fund (USF) subsidy.