WHAT IS IT?
The Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) is introducing a Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs)
The purpose of the scheme is to increase the number of Gigabit-capable connections within the UK by providing micro-grants to SMEs, to be spent on the installation charges for new connectivity. The scheme covers products that deliver speeds of at least 100Mbps, upgradable to 1Gbps, from day one.
Vouchers will range from £500 to £2500 per SME, with the possibility to aggregate vouchers subject to DCMS validation, and it is available in fixed locations (listed below). Further area releases are planned in the future.
The scheme is open for applications and will remain open until March 2019 or until the £2 million fund the DCMS have set up for the test phase has been allocated – whichever is sooner.
WHERE WILL IT COVER?
After the successful completion of Wave 1, the scheme is now open across the UK
WHO IS ELIGABLE?
- SME’s with up to 249 employees and with a turnover no greater than €50m per annum, and/or balance sheet of less than €43m.
- The scheme covers products that deliver at least 100Mbps and is upgradable to at least 1Gbps.
- Vouchers are to cover the cost of connecting SMEs to existing infrastructure (to a maximum of £2500)
- Where a long term contract is offered and no installation charge is applicable, it is ok to claim against the rentals and any ECCs charged.
The key criteria is that upgraded connectivity service must deliver a “step change” in the SME’s connectivity, which is at least a doubling of speeds compared to the service currently being consumed.