The Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme
About the scheme
The Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme has the strategic objective of increasing gigabit-capable coverage across the UK. Starting in March 2018, the programme launched the first wave of its programme, designed to encourage broadband service providers to build full-fibre networks in the UK for small to medium-sized businesses and nearby residents when part of a group scheme. The £67m fund was successfully used over two years and has now closed for new applications.
In May 2019, the programme launched its second wave of funding to support the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband to homes and businesses in rural areas of the UK when part of a group scheme.
What is a gigabit connection?
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 into the future. Gigabit-capable broadband also supports symmetrical connections – meaning your upload and download speeds can be the same.
Who is eligible?
Homes and businesses with broadband speeds of less than 100Mbps can use vouchers to support the cost of installing new gigabit-capable connections when part of a group scheme.
Group projects are when two or more residents and/or SMEs get together to combine their vouchers towards the shared cost of installation. Single connections are not eligible for additional funding.
New connections should double your current speed but must be at least 30Mbps.
‘Rural’ is defined using agreed standard measures in the relevant part of the UK. For the gigabit voucher premises in the following areas will be defined as rural.
- England & Wales – ONS definitions D1 – F2
- Northern Ireland – NISRA definitions E – H
- Scotland – NRS definitions 3 – 8
For the purposes of this exercise, Weston definitely counts as rural.
In addition, in order to qualify for a business voucher you will be asked to self-certify that you meet the European Commission definition of an SME whereby your business has:
- Up to 249 employees (in total in the organisation) and turnover no greater than €50m per annum, and/or
- A balance sheet of no more than €43m
- You will also have to self-certify that you have received less than €200k in public grants in the last 3 years – the de minimis limit.
- You will be asked to provide evidence of your status as a SME or sole trader.