Here’s what you need to know
THE UK Government is committed to a vision of a country connected by superfast broadband which will improve the lives of citizens at work and play and supercharge the efficiency of businesses everywhere.
The Gigabit Voucher scheme is their way of accomplishing that goal as quickly as possible in the short-term.
It is both carrot and stick – the carrot being the opportunity to get your broadband connection vastly improved at no cost to yourself; the stick, is the reminder that you need to get the work done before the time-limited offer expires.
The scheme is a form of Government funding which enables the infrastructure to be built which will connect rural communities with a capacity of up to a Gigabit of data per second wherever possible.
That represents a breathtaking improvement on the current level of service, which in most cases in the UK is under 30mpbs.
The vouchers provide up to £1,500 per household and £3,500 for small and medium-sized businesses to support the cost of installing these new gigabit connections as the Government seeks to mobilise contractors to do the work for them.
Successfully applying to be part of the voucher scheme means that a company, Rymote in our case, will effectively be paid to install your new superfast online connections at no cost to those involved in the scheme.
WHAT IS A GIGABIT CONNECTION?
For the fastest and most reliable broadband, capable of delivering gigabit speeds, a full-fibre connection is required. One gigabit is the same as 1,000 megabits (Mpbs) – so it’s a huge leap forward in connection capability - given that most of the country’s users are currently below 30 megabits. Gigabit-capable broadband also supports symmetrical connections – meaning your upload and download speeds can be the same. This is significant because in recent years people have wanted to use uploads, (online shopping and purchasing for example), as much as they’ve wanted the usual downloads. The installation will mean that your connection is capable of accommodating any further improvements in service which might, literally, be coming down the line.
WHAT IS THE GIGABIT VOUCHER SCHEME?
It is the Government’s way of helping you get massively upgraded broadband connections in your home by funding an experienced and professional installer to supply it. It is specifically targeted at remote and rural areas which have traditionally struggled to access broadband connections of any strength or reliability. The Government has set millions of pounds aside to implement this scheme but has time-limited the scheme to less than two years - which means rural communities have to use it or lose it. It ran a similar upgrade scheme recently for Business Centres in which the combination of a great offer, but with a clear time limit on it, spurred a rush for installs. The Government is hoping a similar approach this time around will produce similar success in the countryside.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
Homes and businesses with broadband speeds of less than 100Mbps can use vouchers to support the cost of installing new gigabit-capable connections when part of a group scheme. Group projects are when two or more residents and/or SMEs get together to combine their vouchers towards the shared cost of installation. Single connections are not eligible for additional funding, so you won’t just be able to pick up a voucher and have your own home sorted. That’s because the Government wants an efficient roll-out, so rather than looking for individuals to access superfast broadband, one at a time, the onus is on groups coming together in a sense of community so that many more people benefit. It also helps to spread the word, and the word is worth spreading because any new connections should double your current speed at least. In order to comply with the Government’s guidelines, the finished work must deliver at least 30Mbps. Rural households are eligible and the term ‘rural’ is defined using agreed standard measures in the relevant part of the UK.
- Brighton & Hove
- Milton Keynes
- Southend on Sea
- Stoke on Trent
How to claim your voucher
Call 0191 580 8858 to see if your are eligible and we’ll ask you a few questions about your current service.
We have a number of approved packages on the scheme, so you don’t have to worry about the paperwork.
You just need to sign the Service Agreement, pay the VAT on the install and we’ll let you know when the service will be live.
What can this do for my business?
Grow and access new markets through better communication with customers.
Compete at a faster pace,boost your bottom line and reach more customers.
Increase security through fast, secure backup of data.
Increase productivity while attracting and retaining best staff.
Improve customer service by sending or uploading large files faster.
Increase your bottom line by improving customer satisfaction.
Future proof your business for the digital challenges of tomorrow.
Work in the cloud. Flexible storage with disaster recovery.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will the scheme operate?
From its launch the latest voucher scheme will run until 2021 or when the money has been used.
Who is eligible to apply?
- Have broadband installation that will cost over £100 and willing to sign up to a minimum of a 12 month contract with the broadband supplier.
- You need to be an SME, registered charity, social enterprise or sole trader.
- Your connection is for your business premises only, you can however apply for a connection at home if that is your work base but not if you occasionally work from home.
- You have not received more than £120,000 in grants in the last 3 years.
- Each business can only apply for one connection per location.
How much support is available?
There will be up to a maximum of £2,500 (excl VAT) support available per individual applicant. The grant covers the initial installation cost of the connections. The minimum grant amount available is £100. Please note that you will have to pay the on-going costs and the VAT of the installation.
What can the gigabit vouchers be used for?
Rymote can deliver only wired leased line solutions. The key point to be eligible is that the new connection must deliver a step change in your connectivity. Your business grade connection must have both of the following characteristics: -offer a minimum of 100Mbps service to your premises now and be capable of being upgraded in the future to support a 1Gbps service to your premises -deliver at least a doubling of speeds when compared to your current business grade connection. For example you must be able to go from 50Mbps to 100Mbps, 100Mbps to 200Mbps or 200Mbps to 400Mbps. What happens now? Rymote now offers pre-registered packages in those cities where there is wireless coverage – no application forms required! If you are in an eligible area, you simply need to place your order with Rymote and the rest is taken care of. You only need to pay the VAT of the installation and the ongoing costs. Please note: the government may contact you post installation to check your eligibility.
I already have an internet package with another provider
We will need to know what product you are currently on and how long you have left on your contract. We recommend holding off on any renewals or upgrades with your existing provider until you have spoken to us.
How quickly can you get the internet up and running?
This depends on the internet service that you require. For broadband services this can be as little as 15 working days. Usually a gigabit voucher will require at the very least, leased line connectivity. The minimum lead time can be around 45 working days.
Can I use the money to pay for my monthly internet costs?
In some cases it is possible to use this money to lower the monthly costs of your internet. Please contact us for more info
What happens next?
Rymote are proud to be in a position to offer this to our customers, we will provide all the assistance needed to make your business broadband superfast! Check out how a local business has been awarded funding