Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme
As part of their Project Gigabit connectivity programme, the Government is providing up to £210m worth of voucher funding as immediate help for people experiencing slow broadband speeds in rural areas. Businesses and residents are eligible for additional funding towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband to their premises when part of a group project.
Vouchers worth up to £1,500 for homes and £3,500 for businesses to help cover the costs of installing gigabit broadband are available to eligible premises. Note: BDUK has increased the value of its core vouchers to £4,500 for both residential and business premises wef 5th December 2023.
Apply for the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme
For more information about the scheme, including details of how to apply, please visit the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport's Gigabit Broadband Voucher website:
BDUK has paused the voucher scheme in East Sussex pending award of a contract under its 'Project Gigabit' programme. East Sussex County Council has not yet been informed of when the scheme will be re-opened.
East Sussex County Council Gigabit Broadband Voucher Top-Up Scheme
The County Council is continuing to invest in the Government’s Scheme, which was re-launched on 8th April 2021, by topping-up vouchers for both business and residential premises to a value of up to £1,000 per voucher. A top-up fund of £500,000 has been set aside by the Council for this purpose, managed directly by DCMS.
Full details of the Government’s scheme including how to apply and how to find out if you are eligible can be found through this link: https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk
Vouchers are specific to individual residents and businesses - terms and conditions for those receiving vouchers can be found at : https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/UKGV-Beneficiary-Terms-and-Conditions-v0.9.pdf
What is meant by “top up”?
The Dept. of Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) who manage the scheme provide vouchers of up to a value of £1,500 for residential properties and £3,500 for business properties. ESCC provides £1,000 towards each voucher making the total funding available of up to £2,500 and £4,500 respectively as above. Projects may not need to access any/all of the funding if the cost of their scheme are covered fully by the DCMS core voucher funding and this will be assessed by DCMS as part of the application.
Vouchers are specific to individual residents and businesses – top ups cannot be used to fund an overall funding shortfall where there are not enough sign ups for vouchers to meet the cost of build.
How do I apply for the East Sussex top up?
The East Sussex top up will be applied by the Dept. of Culture Media and Sport as part of the national scheme. Local projects do not need to contact us separately.
How do voucher payments work?
Payment goes direct to the broadband supplier from DCMS – no money changes hands with local projects.
Is ESCC able to prioritise local projects?
No. DCMS work their voucher scheme on a first come, first served basis until all the ESCC additional funding pot of £500,000 is allocated.
Has there been a change in the national scheme?
Yes. DCMS is now excluding areas that are classified by Ofcom as being what is known as Wholesale Local Access (WLA) Market 2. Simply put, that means areas that Ofcom consider likely to be included in commercial investment plans. You can see which postcodes aren’t eligible by clicking on the following link: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/consultations-and-statements/category-1/2021-26-wholesale-fixed-telecoms-market-review then go to 'Supporting Documents' and click on ‘Schedule 2: WLA list of postcode sectors by geographic market’.
We welcome interest from broadband suppliers considering investment in East Sussex. Contact us to discuss your plans.