What is the Gigabit Voucher Scheme?
A gigabit voucher scheme is from the government & can give businesses up to £3000 towards installing fibre internet connections.If you have been looking at your business internet connectivity, particularly fibre connectivity, you may have previously been put off by the costs of installing. The government wants to help small businesses with the costs of installing gigabit capable connections so they have come up with the gigabit Voucher Scheme.
The scheme itself came to fruition in 2018 & is part of the Local Full Fibre Networks Programme which is delivered by the department for digital, culture, media & Sports, or DCMS for short. DCMS have put £67million towards this project to aid with their commitment to making the UK a full fibre nation.
This has come as a welcome move for many small and medium sized businesses who desperately need faster download and upload speeds but have been prohibited because of the cost of installing.
How much could I get?
The gigabit broadband voucher scheme gives vouchers for £2500 to small and medium-sized businesses & £500 for residents to aid with the cost of installing fibre connections to your location. You can also put these vouchers toward your part of the costs of Community Fibre Partnership. So if you have a few businesses and residents who are interested in getting full fibre broadband, they could all apply for vouchers to put towards the costs.
Since May 2019, rural businesses who often have a much harder time installing fibre, may be eligible for additional funding as part of the Broadband for Rural Communities scheme.
Gigabit Voucher Scheme Eligibility
First off – It won’t last forever & nearly 80% of the pot has been used already. So if you want to take advantage you need to move quick & your business must meet the following criteria :
- Your business needs to be UK based
- SME status – Less than than 250 employees, a balance sheet < €43 million or a turnover of < €50 million
- The new gigabit connectivity bust be at least double the speed of your current connection
- You can’t have exceeded the permitted amount of De Minimis state aid ( €200,000) over the past 3 years.
- The costs of connecting has to exceed £500
There are a couple of conditions regarding the connection itself too :
- The connection must offer at least 100Mb & be capable of upgrading to 1Gbps
- You must use a registered supplier (bonus all our partners are recognised & registered to deliver the gigabit voucher scheme)
What are the Business Benefits of using the gigabit voucher scheme?
Aside the obvious benefit of saving your business up to £3000 there’s a few others that come with upgrading your broadband service to a fibre connection. Many businesses think this scheme only applies to standard fibre broadband connections which are often not fast or stable enough to run business applications on. The good news is they would be wrong! This scheme can be used towards installation of any gigabit capable full fibre services too like fibre to the premises & our personal favourites fibre leased lines.
Leased Line is a fibre connection that’s dedicated to you, which means no buffering, no “down-time” & guaranteed speeds all the time. As its dedicated to you the line is more secure & usually the connection of choice for most enterprise companies. With technology evolving at such speed a leased line is a great way of future proofing your business.
More benefits of dedicated internet connections include :
- Speeds between 100Mbps to 1Gbps – perfect for business cloud applications like VoIP, office 365, salesforce etc. The average UK standard broadband speed is around 45Mbps
- Highly Scalable – As your business grows these connections can grow with it, rather than being throttled like traditional broadband.
Dedicated to you – This makes it better in so many ways for you – sings Kanyes harder, better, faster, stronger!
Copper phone lines (used within standard broadband/ADSL connections) will soon become outdated – the DCMS plans to connect the whole of the UK with full-fibre broadband by 2033 as part of the government’s £200 million investment plan
Where does the gigabit voucher scheme cover?
The good news is the gigabit voucher scheme covers the entire UK. From Lands End to John o’ Groats you can apply for this if your business meets the criteria. It won’t cover any businesses overseas or offices abroad you may be linked to.
However, the most rural businesses know that £2500 still doesn’t make a dent in the install charges they have previously been quoted. We are lucky enough to partner with an ISP who makes bespoke, tailored solutions to try & help the most rural businesses so if this applies to you get in touch & see how we can help.
How can I find the best registered supplier?
Weather you are looking at fibre broadband or full fibre leased lines we can help. All of our partners are registered to deliver the gigabit voucher scheme & can help with securing you the best price at your location. We would love to help you find your perfect match & our services are all completely free. Click on one of the links, fill out the form & let us do all the work for you.