The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has announced a national Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme.
The scheme will provide “gold standard” connectivity ahead of the future 5G rollout.
Hundreds of businesses and homes across Exeter are set to benefit from faster internet connections, following the launch of the UK Government’s nationwide Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme (GBVS).
The £67m investment is in addition to the £200m allocated to the Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) programme, and will provide future-proof full fibre connections for businesses and the residential communities around them. It follows a successful pilot scheme launched in 4 areas around the country late last year which has already seen nearly 1000 vouchers snapped up to date.
DCMS Secretary of State, Matt Hancock said:
“Small businesses are the backbone of the British economy and now businesses and neighbouring homes in Exeter can turbo-charge their connectivity with gigabit speeds. By building a full fibre future for Britain we are laying the foundations for a digital infrastructure capable of delivering today what the next generation will need tomorrow.”
Councillor Rachel Sutton, Lead Councillor for Economy and Culture at Exeter City Council said:
“Exeter City Council are promoting this excellent scheme which will help the city become future-ready. Being a gigabit city would strengthen our ability to compete internationally and would provide further incentives to digitech companies looking to relocate to the city.
“We encourage Exeter’s SME businesses to get in touch with our Growth and Enterprise team on 01392 265230, as the scheme allows businesses to combine vouchers in defined geographical areas which can result in greater value for money for infrastructure installation, and greater fibre broadband coverage.
“Increasing the provision of gigabit broadband will prepare Exeter for the future and supports our aim to be an analytical city. We will be working across the SME business community over the coming months to identify areas currently experiencing connectivity challenges.”
The vouchers, worth up to £3,000 for a SME and £500 for a resident, provide a one-off contribution to subsidise the installation cost of gigabit-capable infrastructure. In addition to providing a boost to the 95% of the UK that can already get superfast speeds (24Mbps or faster), the vouchers could also help those not yet able to do so, helping to narrow the diminishing digital divide even further.
Full fibre connections are faster, more reliable and cheaper to operate than traditional copper lines, and are capable of supporting not only gigabit, but terabit and even petabit speeds, which will serve the UK far into the future. Currently only around 3% of UK premises have access to a full fibre connection.
The scheme forms part of Government’s commitment to make full fibre broadband available to at least 10 million homes and businesses by 2022.
The scheme launched at the end of March 2018 and will run until March 2021 or until all available funding has been allocated. For more information visit https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/ or speak to Joe Walsh at Exeter City Council on 01392 265230 to see how we can help combine vouchers in your area to maximise this fantastic opportunity.