Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme
The Government has a Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme to help connect rural homes and businesses to a gigabit-capable broadband connection.
Shropshire Council has made up to £1 million of additional funding available to ‘top-up’ the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme in partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS).
The purpose of this strategic investment is to support those premises currently not included in any Connecting Shropshire contract.
For homes, the maximum funding per voucher will be £4,000, thanks to an extra £2,500 per voucher from Shropshire Council. Eligible businesses can receive an additional £3,500 bringing the maximum funding per voucher to £7,000. To qualify for the Scheme, groups of 2 or more residents/businesses must be located in a rural area and be unable to get broadband speeds of 100mbps.
You don’t need to apply separately for the top-up funding. If your home or business is eligible, you will receive funding for the Shropshire Top-up at the same time as the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme funding, through a registered supplier. In all cases, the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme funding will be allocated before top-up funding is applied.
The Top-up Scheme will be distributed on a first come, first served basis until the end of March 2021 when the scheme will close to new applications.
How does the Voucher Scheme work?
The chart below shows the step-by-step process that each voucher recipient will go through to activate their voucher:
- Enter your postcode in the checker on the DCMS website (https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/) to find a registered supplier and sign up for a gigabit-capable broadband connection;
- Your supplier requests a voucher from DCMS, who will email you to check that you’re happy to proceed;
- Your supplier installs the infrastructure required to deliver your new broadband connection;
- Once you’re connected, your supplier lets DCMS know the work is done;
- DCMS emails you to check that the new broadband connection is working properly;
- DCMS may make further checks, including a site visit, before they pay your supplier.
About gigabit broadband connections
A gigabit broadband connection is equivalent to 1,000mbps and is usually delivered through a full fibre connection (e.g. fibre-to-the-premise). Full fibre also supports symmetrical connections, meaning that upload and download speeds are the same.
Over 96% of homes and businesses across the UK have access to a superfast broadband connection (of at least 30mbps). The Government is now keen to see more full fibre connections rolled out to meet the future needs of businesses and communities.
Whilst connections delivered under the Voucher Scheme must be gigabit-capable, homes and businesses receiving a voucher only need to take up a broadband service of at least 30mbps or double their current speed, whichever is the greater, in order to be eligible for a Gigabit Broadband Voucher.