Government scheme to support rural areas to connect to lightning-fast broadband
RURAL households and businesses in Newark and Sherwood are being urged to take advantage of a new grant that will provide faster broadband.
The ‘UK Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme’ was announced on 19 March 2021 and will provide micro grants of up to £1,500 for households and £3,500 for businesses in the hardest to reach rural areas.
The scheme is part of the Government’s commitment in enabling lightning-fast, reliable gigabit-capable broadband to everyone in the UK as soon as possible, working hard with broadband providers to accelerate their commercial development plans and ensure no rural area is left behind.
Councillor David Lloyd, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “There are still places in our district where internet speeds are struggling because of their rural location. This new scheme will help those hard to reach places, ensuring they have super-fast broadband speeds just like the rest of the UK.
“I encourage any business or household in a rural area where your broadband speed is less than 100Mbps to apply for the scheme.
“As more services more online, having a fast broadband speed is vital and we need to ensure those in rural areas are not left behind and can have as much access to the internet as people in big cities and towns.”
Since the scheme was 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 UK Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme has committed more than £137m to support gigabit connectivity to more than 72,000 households and small to medium sized businesses.
The UK Gigabit Voucher Scheme will build on the success of the Rural Gigabit Voucher Scheme, enabling those in remote 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.
To help raise awareness and drive uptake of the UK Gigabit Voucher Scheme, the website has now been updated and refreshed. It includes a new premises level postcode eligibility checker that enables people to establish their eligibility for the UK Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme and information on other support that may be available. This can be accessed here: https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/.