Through the government’s £200m Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme (GBVS) rural business and residential premises with broadband speeds of less than 100Mbps can apply for vouchers worth £1,500 per home and up to £3,500 for each small to medium-sized business (SME) to support the cost of installing new fast and reliable connections.
Now, Dorset Council has announced that it is investing £1 million to ‘top up’ the GBVS vouchers.
For homes, the maximum funding per voucher will be £2,500, thanks to an extra £1,000 per voucher from Dorset Council. SMEs in Dorset can receive an additional £2,500 per voucher from the authority bringing their maximum funding per voucher to £6,000.
In all cases, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) funding will be allocated before ‘top up funding’ from Dorset Council is applied.
The funding for the vouchers in the scheme with a Dorset Top Up will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis until the end of March 2021, when the scheme will close.
Cllr Peter Wharf, deputy leader, Dorset Council said, “Hundreds of businesses and homes have already got a gigabit-capable connection through this and previous schemes but for some, the voucher amount was not enough to pay for the installation. This top-up funding means many more schemes can be funded, providing this future-proofed connectivity to around 1,000 more homes in the most rural locations which are otherwise unlikely to get it for many years.
“Being digitally connected is key to staying in touch with loved ones, working from home and enabling our local businesses and economy to thrive.
“If you are interested in a voucher then discuss this with your residential and business neighbours. You have to apply as a group and the schemes work best when you have communities pulling together. The good news is that all you need to do is register your interest now with your chosen supplier and they will check all the details and if you are eligible, they will start the process to get you connected.”
To find out more about The Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme with a Dorset Top Up visit the Dorset Council website or the DCMS website.
How do the vouchers work?
• Find a registered supplier and sign up for a gigabit capable connection
• Your supplier requests a voucher from Government. They check you are happy to go ahead by email
• Your supplier gets to work to deliver your new connection
• Connected! Your supplier lets government know the work is done
• Government checks with you by email that the service is live and working
• Government will sometimes make further checks before they pay your supplier
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