Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme

Published: 20 October 2021

Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme

Information for Community Groups

Get faster broadband for your community

Living in a rural area of Surrey means that slow broadband can be a real struggle. But with more and more people working from home and generally spending more time online, there’s an even greater need for speed. And even if you’re happy with your broadband now, you might need faster speeds in the future. The good news is that you, your neighbours and local small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in your area might be able to join together and do something about it.

The Government’s latest Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme (https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/ ) was launched in April 2021 and offers government funding to rural homes and businesses to help you get gigabit speeds which will meet your internet needs now and into the future.

What is a gigabit connection?

One gigabit is the same as 1,000Mbps, so it’s a big leap forward in connection speeds. Gigabit-capable broadband also supports symmetrical connections meaning your upload and download speeds can be the same.

What does the voucher scheme offer?

If your home or business (SME) is in a rural location, can only access broadband speeds of less than 100Mbps and is not already in any plans for a broadband upgrade, then by grouping together with other nearby homes and/or SMEs, you could be entitled to funding worth:

  •  Up to £1,500 per home
  •  Up to £3,500 per SME

The voucher funding goes towards the cost of bringing gigabit speeds to your community. There may be extra costs if the connection costs are greater than the funding, but the more properties involved, the lower the cost would be. Please note, it is not possible for an individual home or business to apply for a voucher, it must be done as part of a group of two or more.

Residents and businesses benefitting from the funding are required to take up a service delivered on gigabit-capable infrastructure which must reach:

  • At least double your existing speed if your current speed is less than 50Mbps  
  • At least 100Mbps if your current speed is more than 50Mbps

This may mean a small increase in your current monthly broadband charge to reflect the improved service.

Steps 1, 2, 3, 4

There are a few things you need to do that’ll kickstart the process.

1.Check the eligibility of your address on the Government’s Gigabit Voucher site. To do this, visit https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/, enter your postcode and select your address. A message will appear below your address

2.If the message advises that your home may be eligible, then start talking to your neighbours, other homes or businesses in the area who may also be keen to get involved.

3.Once you have determined how many residents and SMEs are interested in getting access to gigabit infrastructure, your group lead needs to contact a registered voucher supplier (see below) to discuss your requirements and get a quotation.

4.If your group decides to accept the supplier’s project proposal, the supplier will confirm the voucher eligibility of the addresses in the group and request the voucher funding from the government on your behalf. The voucher funding will be applied to the cost of the quotation and if it does not cover the total cost, your group will be responsible for paying the outstanding balance.

Registered suppliers

A full list of all registered voucher suppliers is included on the Government’s Gigabit Voucher website, however, some of these suppliers either do not operate in Surrey or only work with businesses. Below are just a few of the suppliers who are known to be operating in Surrey and who work with communities.

Please note. These suppliers may offer different services and work with different ISPs so please check what they offer carefully to ensure they meet your requirements.

Timeframes

Once a quotation has been confirmed with a supplier, it can take up to 12 months for the gigabit infrastructure to be deployed.

More information

If you have any queries regarding the voucher scheme, please contact the SCC Broadband team on 07816 060459 or broadband.enquiries@surreycc.gov.uk

Terms and Conditions of the Gigabit Voucher Scheme can be found here