Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme
What is it and how is it funded?
The purpose of the Scheme is to increase the speed of deployment of gigabit capables within the UK by providing micro-grants to support the cost of new connectivity.
The government are targeting “hard to reach” locations where without some form of public support suppliers will not be able to build gigabit capable networks. Vouchers are the mechanism the Scheme uses to provide these grants.
These grants have a minimum value of £500 and a maximum value of £3,500.
- For SME Beneficiaries vouchers have a minimum value of £500 and a maximum value of £3,500 and cannot be used to fund any VAT.
- For Residential Beneficiaries, vouchers have a minimum value of £500 and a maximum value of £1,500 (inclusive of VAT).
Vouchers may only be used to fund the actually incurred cost of providing new gigabit capable broadband connectivity.
Using their voucher, beneficiaries contract with registered suppliers such as Cambridge Fibre for a new gigabit-capable solution under a “Project” which the supplier has registered for a town or village.
These Projects must be registered separately with DCMS by suppliers using the “Project Application”. There is no mechanism by which a grant may be obtained by a beneficiary other than as part of a Project.
Payments of the grants to eligible beneficiaries under the Scheme are made by DCMS direct to registered suppliers, once they have confirmed that new connections have been delivered and the beneficiary has accepted service.
Who qualifies for these vouchers?
Home and businesses in rural locations which meet the following criteria can use vouchers to support the cost of installing new gigabit-capable connections when part of a group project.
- Existing broadband speeds are less than 100Mbps
- A gigabit capable network isn’t likely to be built to that area commercially in the near future
- There is no government-funded contract planned or in place to improve the network already
How does the scheme operate?