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Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme

The Council is supporting the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in its efforts to roll out a Regional Gigabit Voucher Scheme across the Borough.

Full fibre broadband connections offer the fastest and most reliable speeds available and the UK Government is committed to a vision of a full fibre Britain. As part of this commitment, in March 2018, DCMS announced a £67m Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme

Gigabit vouchers can be used by small businesses and the local communities surrounding them to contribute to the installation cost of a gigabit-capable connection. Businesses can claim up to £2,500 against the cost of connection either individually or as part of a group project. Residents can benefit from the scheme with a voucher worth £500 as part of a group project.

(On 12 November DCMS announced changes to this scheme to make sure that the scheme benefits even more people: The maximum amount that businesses can claim towards the cost of installation will change from £3,000 to £2,500. At the same time, we are making it even easier for groups of residents to pool their vouchers together with small and medium-sized businesses in project schemes.)

What is a gigabit connection?

The UK now has 95% coverage for superfast broadband with speeds of 24 megabits per second or higher. However, most superfast connections still depend on copper telephone wires, which are limited in the speeds they can support. For the fastest and most reliable broadband, capable of delivering gigabit speeds, a full fibre connection is required. One gigabit is the same as 1,000 megabits – so it’s a big leap forward in connection speeds that could benefit you and your business into the future.

The Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme is part of a wider Local Full Fibre Networks programme that the UK Government is committed to. It has the strategic objective of increasing full fibre coverage across the UK. 

The Application Process

Businesses or residents that are eligible for gigabit vouchers can access the scheme through a registered supplier. Check out https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/ for full scheme details and eligibility criteria.

The step-by-step process (below) shows the stages each voucher recipient will go through to activate their voucher:

  • Find a registered supplier and sign up for a gigabit capable connection.
  • Your supplier requests a voucher from DCMS, who will check that you are happy to proceed (usually by email).
  • Your supplier gets to work to deliver your new connection.
  • Connected! Your supplier let’s DCMS know that the work is done.
  • DCMS check with you (usually by email) that the service is live and working properly and as agreed with your supplier.
  • DCMS may undertake further verification checks before they pay

Check your eligibility and apply now before the funding is exhausted!

For full details about whether you are eligible for a voucher and to connect you to a full fibre broadband supplier, visit https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk