How your rural business can get a £3,500 boost for better broadband

The UK Gigabit Voucher Scheme is returning on April 8 to support small businesses in rural areas. Here's how to get your broadband voucher

Vouchers worth up to £3,500 will be available for rural small businesses to help cover the costs of installing gigabit broadband.

The next round of the UK Gigabit Voucher Scheme will launch on Thursday April 8 2021. From then, you will be able to check whether your premises is eligible to get a voucher, find a list of eligible suppliers and see which of those are active in your area. Please note that vouchers are only available through suppliers who are registered with the scheme.

What is a gigabit connection?

One gigabit is the same as 1,000 megabits and in order to get broadband at gigabit speeds, you need a full-fibre connection.

Will I be eligible?

Businesses will be asked to self-certify that they are a small or a medium-sized business. This means that your business must have:

  • Up to 249 employees and annual turnover no greater than £36m and/or
  • An annual balance sheet not exceeding £18m

You will asked to provide evidence of this status.

How does it work?

Once you’ve registered with your supplier they will request a voucher from the Government. You’ll then get an email asking if you’re happy to proceed. Your supplier will get to work on delivering your new connection. Afterwards, the supplier will follow up by email to see that the connection is functioning properly.

I want to know more about the UK Gigabit Voucher Scheme

The first voucher was launched in March 2018 to encourage broadband service providers to build full-fibre networks in the UK for small to medium-sized businesses. The £67m fund was successfully used over two years.

In May 2019, the programme launched its second wave of funding to support the cost of installing gigabit broadband to homes and businesses in rural areas of the UK when part of a local group. With over £73m successfully committed, the Rural Gigabit Connectivity (RGC) Voucher is currently closed for applications.

Read more

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Anna Jordan

Anna is Senior Reporter, covering topics affecting SMEs such as grant funding, managing employees and the day-to-day running of a business.

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