Nottinghamshire County Council is investing £750,000 and Derbyshire County Council £500,000 in order to step up efforts in delivering high-speed broadband to the most rural areas of the two counties.
The funding from the council will ‘top-up’ the Government’s existing Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme which helps homes and businesses in hard-to-reach locations get a fast and reliable broadband service.
The £200m Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme (GBVS) has been helping to provide gigabit-capable connections for homes and businesses in the UK’s most remote locations.
Through the voucher scheme rural homes and businesses with broadband speeds of less than 100Mbps, which are not in any existing government-funded plans for an upgrade, can apply for the vouchers worth up to £1,500 per home and up to £3,500 for each small and medium-sized business (SME) to help support the cost of installing new gigabit-capable broadband connections.
Now, both County Councils are pleased to be offering a combined £1.25m of investment to ‘top-up’ the GBVS vouchers.
The ‘top-up’ voucher will double the existing voucher value, meaning that homes could claim up to £3,000 per voucher whilst SMEs in rural Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire could claim up to a maximum of £7,000 funding per voucher.
Councillor Kay Cutts MBE, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council said: “I’m delighted to announce that Nottinghamshire County Council is investing £750,000 to help rural businesses and residents in the County access gigabit-capable broadband. The investment will support the Government’s existing gigabit broadband voucher scheme in the form of a top-up voucher for rural premises.
“We recognise the importance of having fast and reliable access to the internet and ensuring Nottinghamshire remains at the forefront of digital connectivity in order to attract new investment, stimulate growth and support our economy. The top-up voucher will ensure homes and businesses in the most hard-to-reach areas wanting to improve their digital connectivity have the help needed to do so.”
Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme
Whilst the vast majority of homes and businesses can access superfast broadband, those living in remote locations have often missed out as they are more difficult to reach with broadband infrastructure.
The ‘top-up’ voucher has been designed to address this issue by offering additional funds towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband.
Gigabit-capable broadband (also known as ultrafast broadband) has speeds of up to 1000Mbps or 1Gbps.
It means residents will be getting the latest technology, delivered straight to their homes.
They will then be able to choose an internet package from a provider to suit their needs and budget.
To apply for the scheme residents and businesses can visit the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme website to find a list of suppliers in their local area.
The deadline for applying for vouchers is 31 March 2021.
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