The UK Gigabit Voucher Scheme is the latest Government initiative to help homes and businesses in rural areas install a gigabit-capable* full fibre connection when part of a group scheme. This means two or more residents and/or businesses get together to combine vouchers towards the shared cost of installation.
Since vouchers were first introduced by Government in 2018, they have been a key tool in incentivising and encouraging suppliers to connect some of the hardest to reach premises in the UK.
To date, the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme has committed over £137m to support gigabit connectivity to more than 72,000 households and small to medium-sized businesses. The Government's Gigabit Connection Voucher Schemes have committed around £1.3 million to Northampton benefitting 600 businesses and local residents.
This latest iteration of the demand-led scheme was launched in April 2021 as part of the wider £5bn ‘Project Gigabit’ programme. It replaces the Rural Gigabit Voucher Scheme which was funded under the £200m Rural Gigabit Connectivity Programme and closed on 31 March 2021.
Rural premises with broadband speeds of less than 100Mbps can use vouchers worth up to £3,500 for each small and medium-sized business (SME), and up to £1,500 per residential premise to support the cost of installing new gigabit-capable connections that more than double their broadband speeds.
To find out more about the UK Gigabit Voucher Scheme and to check eligibility please visit the UK Gigabit Voucher Scheme web site.
Check eligibility on the Voucher site by scrolling down to the postcode checker. Enter your postcode and it will allow you to choose an address. If eligible for a Gigabit Voucher you will be able to see a list of active suppliers in your area to approach.
If you know of a supplier, they must be on the long list of suppliers registered for the scheme, but they are not flagged as active in your locality, you can still make enquiries of them in the first instance to determine interest.
Government guidance for community groups can be found on the government guidance web page.
Definition of Gigabit capable
*Gigabit-capable means that the connection can handle speeds of 1,000 Megabits per second but users only sign up to a speed of service they need or can afford. As demand increases, users can choose to buy a higher speed broadband service as required.