Digital Durham - UK Government Funding for Better Broadband

Access faster broadband from UK Government via the Rural Gigabit Voucher Scheme.

 

This funding is only available until March 2021 it’s a great opportunity for your communities to obtain a Gigabit capable broadband solution. We want to ensure that County Durham rural residents and businesses are aware of the voucher scheme and it is for this reason we would like to ask for your help and support in ensuring that communities take advantage of this funding.

 

Rural Gigabit Voucher

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) introduced the Rural Gigabit Voucher Scheme (RGVS) with the aim of providing funding to support the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband to rural communities.

Durham County Council is working in partnership with Building Digital UK (BDUK), to provide faster broadband speeds to communities through the Digital Durham programme.

 

We’re keen to spread the word to areas that we think your community may be eligible for the RGVS scheme – and this is essentially why we’re contacting you. We’ve provided an overview of the scheme and steps to take. Please get in touch with us for a chat if you would like to know more – our contact information is Digital Durham Tel. no. 03000 264205 or 07341096519.

 

Who is eligible?

 

Rural properties with broadband speeds of less than 100 Megabits per second (Mbps) may be eligible for vouchers worth £1,500 per home and up to £3,500 for each small to medium-sized business (SME) as part of a group project of two or more premises.

 

If your area already has fibre-based broadband, you may be able to upgrade to even faster speeds. Voucher beneficiaries must subscribe to a broadband service for a minimum of 12 months as part of the eligibility criteria.

One gigabit is the equivalent of 1,000 Mbps, however recipients don’t need to subscribe to a package as fast as this.

 

Read more about the scheme: https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/

Read more about eligibility: https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/home/who-is-eligible/

 

What if the vouchers don’t cover the installation costs?

 

The community would need to fund the gap if the vouchers do not cover the full cost of the installation. A supplier may also want to contract with a legal entity in the community if you decide to go ahead.

 

Next steps

 

If this is something yourself or the community wishes to progress, there’ll be an element of information gathering to understand who is interested in getting involved. Clearly this may not be feasible due to the current social distancing restrictions but you could start exploring the scheme with suppliers (or speak to us) to understand if it’s something of interest.

      

Use the postcode checker to confirm your eligibility and to discover which registered suppliers are active in your area: https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/

 

Choose a supplier and contact them to discuss the next steps – note that suppliers offer varying types of technology. Contact us if you’d like to chat about the potential options.

 

Get local support and get a clear idea of who would like to be involved in the group project – as mentioned above, this may not be feasible currently.

 

After liaising with the supplier, they’ll provide you with a quote. It is only at this stage that you’ll know whether the vouchers will cover the full installation cost. You can make a decision whether or not to go ahead at no obligation.of local people in a variety of different ways.