Businesses urged to claim £2,500 voucher for broadband boost

Date published: 15 November 2018

Businesses around the UK are being urged to make use of a £2,500 voucher for gigabit broadband speeds before the scheme closes due to high demand.

Paul Stobart, CEO of Zen Internet said: “Britain has often been called a nation of shopkeepers, and the Government’s plan to bring its small businesses into the 21st century is a good one, but it needs to go further.

“It’s clear there’s huge demand from them for better broadband, especially for those that rely on it for everything from fulfilling orders to building or maintaining a presence online. The Government must continually invest in these areas if it wants to strengthen the backbone of the UK, and we hope to see projects like this as just the start of things to come.”

The Government’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme has already helped more than 7,000 UK businesses and surrounding homes, who have used the vouchers to contribute to, and in many cases fully fund, the installation cost of a full fibre gigabit capable connection.

The £67 million scheme was initially expected to run until March 2021, but high demand for vouchers means that funds are now expected to be committed a year earlier, and perhaps even sooner if the current success of the scheme continues to grow. To date, demand for the scheme has been strongest in the South West, followed by the South East, Yorkshire and the North West.

Minister for Digital Margot James 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. ”

To ensure as many businesses and homes benefit, the maximum value of the voucher will be reduced from the current £3,000 to £2,500 in a move that will encourage neighbouring businesses to “pool” their vouchers.

This will enable the scheme to reach more properties without the need for any additional funding. We expect more than 1,000 additional businesses and homes to benefit as a result of this change.

DCMS will be carefully monitoring take-up following this change to the scheme rules to determine whether there are locations in which a higher voucher value would be justified.

The scheme is part of a series of Government initiatives to build a Britain with nationwide full fibre broadband coverage by 2033, making sure no communities are left behind. In addition to the voucher scheme, the Chancellor recently announced £200 million for an ‘outside-in’ approach that will see full fibre broadband rolled out in the hardest to reach rural locations at the same pace as the rest of the country. The Borderlands, Cornwall, and Welsh valleys will be amongst the first areas to be targeted.

More information on the Gigabit Voucher Scheme, including details on how businesses can apply can be found at

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