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Author Topic: High Demand Causes UK Gov to Reduce Gigabit Broadband Vouchers  (Read 271 times)


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High Demand Causes UK Gov to Reduce Gigabit Broadband Vouchers
« on: November 12, 2018, 03:54:17 PM »

The government has today revealed that 7,000 UK businesses and surrounding homes have taken advantage of their £67m Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme (GBVS), but strong demand means they now expect the funding to dry up a year sooner than expected. In response the top voucher values have been cut to £2,500.

The GBVS scheme, which was officially launched in March 2018 following a successful pilot, forms part of the Government’s wider Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) programme. Essentially it offered vouchers with a value going up to £3,000 for businesses (SME), or £500 for residents, to help them with the costs of connecting to “full fibre” (FTTP/H) broadband or leased line from an approved ISP.

All of this is intended to help support the government’s commitment to making Gigabit (1Gbps+) capable “full fibre” broadband available to at least 10 million UK homes and businesses by 2022, which will be followed by 15 million in 2025 and then there’s also an as yet unfunded aspiration to achieve “nationwide” coverage by the end of 2033.

We should point out that the GBVS is more business orientated and the only way for residents to benefit is as part of a local community group, which must include small businesses. But the good news is that they’ve now made it easier for more residents to participate (up to 10 residents can now participate for every one SME).

However, the GBVS may have become a victim of its own success. The £67 million scheme was initially expected to run until March 2021, but “high demand” (7,000 vouchers have already been issued) means that their funding is now “expected” to dry up a year, or possibly even sooner, than originally expected (i.e. around the end of 2019 or early 2020).

    Margot James MP, UK Minister for Digital, said:

    “Our modern Industrial Strategy is clear on the importance of connectivity, as we build a full fibre Britain that is fit for the future. These vouchers provide practical and immediate help to firms struggling with slow broadband speeds.I encourage small businesses around the UK to apply now.”

    Mike Cherry, FSB National Chairman, said:

    “Access to good broadband is vital for small businesses across the UK, and with the clock ticking on this scheme, it’s important small businesses don’t delay if they want to apply for funding.”
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Re: High Demand Causes UK Gov to Reduce Gigabit Broadband Vouchers
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2018, 06:30:03 PM »

I was never quite sure what to make of this particular scheme in the first place :/
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