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Full fibre broadband connections offer the fastest and most reliable speeds available, and the Government is committed to a vision of a full fibre Britain. As part of this commitment in March 2018 a £67 million Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme was announced. The UK Gigabit Broadband Voucher is the latest iteration of the scheme.
One gigabit is the same as 1,000 megabits – so it’s a big leap forward in connection speeds that could benefit both residents and businesses in rural communities well into the future.
Announced on 19 March 2021 as part of the wider £5bn ‘Project Gigabit’ programme, the UK Gigabit Broadband Voucher will provide micro grants of up to £1,500 for households and up to £3,500 for businesses in the hardest to reach rural areas (with current speeds of less than 100Mbps) to support the cost of installing new gigabit-capable connections when part of a group scheme.
Since they were first introduced in 2018, Vouchers 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 UK Gigabit Voucher will build on the success of the Rural Gigabit Voucher Scheme, enabling those in the hardest to reach parts of the UK to benefit from lightning-fast next generation broadband. It will hone in on supporting people in those areas least likely to be included in the commercial plans of broadband suppliers without the incentive of public subsidy, nudging the UK closer to nationwide gigabit connectivity.
The UK Gigabit Voucher website includes a premises level postcode eligibility checker that enables people to establish their eligibility for the UK Gigabit Broadband Voucher, and information on other support that may be available. The website, which also provides information about the scheme, who is eligible and how the vouchers work, can be accessed here: https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/