The Government has launched the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme aimed at increasing access to full fibre broadband networks across the UK. Full fibre broadband connections offer the fastest and most reliable speeds available, and the government is committed to a vision of a full fibre Britain.
How the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme works
The Government has invested £67million for the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme from March 2018 hoping to encourage suppliers to invest in gigabit-capable services.
The Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme is supplier-led meaning suppliers will be requesting the voucher on behalf of their customers. The value of the voucher will contribute to the build cost of installing a full fibre connection at the customer’s premises. Some suppliers already involved in the scheme have found that aggregating their customers has allowed them to increase their fibre footprint in areas they were previously unable to go.
There is a six-step process to accessing a gigabit connection through this voucher scheme. Businesses or residents that are eligible for gigabit vouchers must contact a supplier and they will apply for a voucher on your behalf.
For more information on how businesses can get involved with the scheme, see here.
Who is Eligible?
The scheme is aimed at businesses but also available to residents together in a group with businesses if businesses are the main beneficiary. Through the scheme businesses and residents, can approach suppliers who can apply for micro-grants in the form of vouchers on their behalf to support the cost of deploying new gigabit-capable connectivity.
Gigabit vouchers can be used by small and medium-sized businesses and the local communities surrounding them to contribute to the installation cost of a gigabit capable connection. Businesses can claim up to £3,000 against the cost of connection either individually or as part of a group project. Residents can benefit from the scheme as part of a group project which also includes businesses and can claim for a voucher of £500.
How businesses can get involved
The scheme is supplier-led, so if a business is interested in receiving a voucher and there are no registered suppliers in the area they can approach a supplier and encourage them to register for the scheme. The scheme is open to registration for both national and regional suppliers.
Businesses can boost their voucher value by joining together with other businesses and residential customers. Once you have a group of other users in the area the supplier may be able to pool your vouchers together to subsidise the cost of installing a connection.
Residents can approach a supplier in their area to see if there are any group projects with businesses that they may be able to join. If there are no projects in the area, residents may be able to join up with other residents and local businesses and approach a supplier directly.
For more information on the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, see here.