The Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme provides funding towards the cost of installing gigabit capable broadband to your home or business (when used as part of a group project).
The scheme was initially launched by the Government in March 2018 with the aim of increasing gigabit-capable coverage across the UK, but is now only available for people experiencing slow broadband speeds in rural areas.
Could your premises be eligible for a voucher to get faster, more reliable fibre broadband?
The Government is providing up to £210m worth of voucher funding as immediate help for people experiencing slow broadband speeds in rural areas. The scheme is on pause for most premises in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough due to the Project Gigabit procurement – but areas outside the procurement area may still be eligible for a voucher.
Vouchers worth up to £4,500 for homes and businesses are available help to cover the costs of installing gigabit broadband to people’s doorsteps in rural areas (as part of a group).
To find out more, check your postcode or see if you’re eligible to apply, please visit the ‘How do the vouchers work?’ page on the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme website.
History of the Gigabit Voucher Scheme
The first phase of the scheme was 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 in the local area. The £67m fund was successfully used over two years.
In May 2019, the UK Gigabit 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 local group.
In September 2020 Connecting Cambridgeshire secured extra “top-up” funding from the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority to help connect groups of rural properties getting less than 30Mbps.
Some rural community groups formed partnerships with local network suppliers after having applied to the Government’s rural Gigabit Broadband Voucher scheme during the second wave of funding to install gigabit-capable fibre within 12 months.
That wave of the rural Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme closed to new applications from groups in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough at the end of September 2021, but you can read about one of the successful Cambridgeshire groups who used the Gigabit Vouchers to secure full fibre broadband.
If you have any queries regarding the scheme and how to apply, when the vouchers are available again for your area, please contact us at email@example.com.
Gigabit Voucher Scheme FAQs
The Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme is a government-funded scheme run by Building Digital UK which is part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to encourage and support residents and businesses in rural areas to access the gigabit capable (1000Mbps) fibre networks.
Home and businesses in rural locations which meet the eligibility criteria can apply for vouchers worth up to £4,500 each, to support the cost of installing new gigabit-capable connections to their doorsteps when part of a group project shared with their neighbours.
Vouchers can only be used through a broadband supplier registered to this scheme.
The scheme is only for premises in rural areas but has been on pause for most premises in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough since September 2021 until early 2023.
This is because in January 2022, Building Digital UK launched their Project Gigabit procurement to find a supplier to connect approximately 49,000 premises in Cambridgeshire and adjacent areas to gigabit-capable broadband. A contract with a supplier is expected to be awarded in February 2023, with work commencing soon afterward.
To avoid duplication of government subsidies, vouchers are paused in areas targeted by the procurement.
We will know more about which areas are not included in Project Gigabit after the announcement in early 2023.
Other funding support for broadband
Households and businesses with broadband speeds below 10mbps can request decent connections under the Government’s Universal Services Obligation.