Broadband - how the 'Universal Service Commitment' works in Wiltshire
The Government's Universal Service Commitment is meant to ensure that all homes and businesses have access to download broadband speeds of at least 2Mbps.
Under the scheme, residents and businesses which have speeds below 2Mbps will be able to apply for support for a satellite broadband connection. A Government subsidy will be provided to cover most of the cost of installation and commissioning of a satellite broadband service. The applicant will be responsible for paying any remaining cost of installation and commissioning, for choosing the features of the satellite broadband service required, and for paying the monthly subscription. Wiltshire Council will process the applications on behalf of the Government.
Who can apply?
This will depend on whether a premise is currently able to benefit from download speeds in excess of 2Mbps. If it cannot, and that premise is not scheduled to benefit from the delivery of fibre broadband roll-out in the near future (Phase 1 or Phase 2), then it will be eligible for subsidy.
The application process
A resident or business will be able to apply to the scheme by completing an online application form on the Wiltshire Online website or over the telephone.
The Wiltshire Online team will complete a series of eligibility checks and will advise whether or not the premises will be eligible.
If the premise is eligible, the applicant will be provided with an eligibility code and a list of participating satellite service providers.
Once the applicant has received their unique eligibility code, and the list of pre-approved satellite broadband retail service providers currently operating under the scheme, they should review the products and prices available from each provider and select the product that best meets their requirements.
The applicant will then need to approach their chosen satellite broadband retail service provider to order the service they require, using the eligibility code.
The scheme will cover most or all of the cost of installation and commissioning of the satellite broadband service. The end user will be responsible for paying any remaining cost of installation and commissioning, and paying the monthly subscription for the service selected.
Information about the Universal Service Commitment, the application process and a full FAQ is available on the Wiltshire Online website here.