Broadband vouchers available
Published: 12 September 2019
Surrey residents, community groups and businesses could be eligible
A new voucher scheme has been introduced to help accomplish the Government's ambition to have full fibre broadband coverage of the UK by 2033. There are two Gigabit vouchers schemes, which have a finite amount of Government funding, so any businesses or residents who are interested should investigate them as soon as possible.
Getting people connected since 2012
Since 2012, Surrey County Council and Openreach have been working together and to date 90,000 premises in Surrey have benefitted as part of the Superfast Surrey Broadband Programme. More than 98% of homes and businesses across Surrey are now able to access superfast broadband download speeds of more than 24 Mbps.
It is anticipated that commercial network providers will connect about 90% of UK premises to full fibre by 2033 and this work has already begun. Only recently Openreach announced that parts of Epsom, Ewell and Burgh Heath will benefit from Openreach's Fibre First rollout.
Building Digital UK Gigabit Voucher Schemes
In order to ensure that remaining premises aren't left behind, Building Digital UK (BDUK), part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), has introduced two gigabit voucher schemes that Surrey residents and businesses may be eligible for.
1. The Gigabit Voucher Scheme for businesses and groups
If you are a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) you could claim up to £2,500 to support the cost of installing new gigabit-capable connections either individually or as part of a group project.
Residential premises could also benefit for up to £500 from the scheme as part of a group project which also includes businesses.
Businesses and residents benefitting from these vouchers would each be required to take up a service with a minimum of 100 Mbps download speed. For more information please visit the Government's Gigabit Voucher Culture webpage.
2. The Rural Gigabit Voucher Scheme for community groups in designated rural areas
If you are a community group (two or more residential premises and/or business premises) in a designated rural area that can access less than 30 Mbps download speeds, you could be eligible to get vouchers valued at £3,500 for each SME, and up to £1,500 per residential premises to support the cost of installing new gigabit-capable connections.
Residents and/or businesses benefitting from these vouchers would be required to take up a 30 Mbps+ download service. For more information visit the Government's Gigabit Rural Voucher webpage
If you are interested in looking into these voucher schemes further, the first step would be to contact one of the eligible Gigabit Voucher Suppliers and discuss your requirements.
The supplier would check your existing download speeds, and if applicable your rural eligibility. They would then provide you with a cost for the Gigabit capable installation and confirm whether or not you would be eligible to benefit from one of the voucher schemes. If eligible, the supplier would apply for and receive the voucher on your behalf.
Terms and conditions apply so please see the Government's Gigabit Voucher Culture Terms and Conditions webpage.
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