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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 we announced our £67m Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme.

Gigabit vouchers can be used by small businesses and the local communities surrounding them to contribute to the installation cost of a gigabit capable connection. Businesses can claim up to £2,500 against the cost of connection either individually or as part of a group project. Residents can benefit from the scheme as part of a group project which also includes businesses, and can claim for a voucher of up to a value of £500.

On 12th November we announced some changes to this scheme to make sure that the scheme benefits even more people: The maximum amount that businesses can claim towards the cost of installation will change from £3,000 to £2,500 to make sure that the scheme reaches even more people with full fibre connectivity.

For standard Pre-Registered Packages the change will take effect from 1700 hrs on 26 November 2018.

For project (aggregated) Pre-Registered Packages the change will take effect from 7 January 2019.

Any vouchers in the system prior to the cut off dates will be honoured at the previous maximum value of £3,000.

The value of the voucher allowed for resident installations will remain at £500.

The ratio of business to resident vouchers allowed in each group project will change from a value-based ratio to a simple numerical ratio where, for every SME connected through the scheme up to ten residents can be connected with vouchers worth £500 each

Background of the scheme

The Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme is part of the Local Full Fibre Networks programme, which has the strategic objective of increasing full fibre coverage across the UK.

Starting in late 2017, the programme launched the first wave of its programme, designed to test its approach to market stimulation. £10m was allocated to the launch of five pilot projects across the country, including £2m on a market test for the voucher scheme. The national launch of the scheme has been designed to build on the lessons learned from our market test.

How do the vouchers work?

Businesses or residents that are eligible for gigabit vouchers can access the scheme through a supplier.

View a chart which shows the step-by-step process that each voucher recipient will go through to activate their voucher:

What is a gigabit connection?

The UK now has 95% coverage for superfast broadband with speeds of 24 megabits per second or higher. However, most superfast connections still depend on copper telephone wires, which are limited in the speeds they can support. For the fastest and most reliable broadband, capable of delivering gigabit speeds, a full fibre connection is required.

One gigabit is the same as 1,000 megabits – so it’s a big leap forward in connection speeds that could benefit you and your business into the future. Full fibre also supports symmetrical connections – meaning your upload and download speeds can be the same.

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