01225 800 800
01225 800 888

What’s the Deadline for the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme?

Gigabit Voucher Scheme

High-speed fibre optic broadband is becoming crucial to Britain’s growing economy. In fact, broadband was recently declared a fundamental human right by no less than the United Nations. So what does this mean for Britain’s SMEs? 

What is the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme? 

With British broadband massively outranked by the majority of Europe, the pressure is on to increase access, availability and speed across all areas of the UK. 

To tackle this growing problem, the Government set up the ‘Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme’ through the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS). They have assigned over £67 million towards capital costs of installing gigabit-capable connections across the UK and offer up to £2,500 per business towards each installation. Simply put, this means any eligible SMEs looking to upgrade their broadband connection can claim up to £2,500 back! 

When is the deadline for the Gigabit Scheme?

Update: according to recent reports, the Government’s available budget has almost been fully allocated, so despite the later deadline, businesses may need to accelerate their application to take advantage of the scheme.

The deadline for the Gigabit Voucher Scheme is 31st March 2021. However, it appears that the scheme has already been so successful since its launch in 2018, that over 70% of the budget has already been used up. This means there is only about £20.4m of the budget left for eligible users and is on track to run out well before the deadline. Will this be enough to change the fibre landscape? Only time will tell. 

What’s the Rural Gigabit Connectivity Scheme and how’s it different? 

The RGC (Rural Gigabit Connectivity) programme is the second scheme from the DCMS and is designed to fund the roll out of a full fibre connection to those who operate in the most rural areas. It is aimed at businesses that currently receive a speed of 30mbps or lower and fall within the eligible rural postcodes. It works in the same way as the Gigabit Broadband scheme but simply offers vouchers worth £3,500 (£1,000 more) to reflect the increased costs associated with bringing fibre to the most rural of areas.

Why is this important?  

A reliable high-speed connection is essential to ensure that employees no longer need to compete for slow and inadequate broadband bandwidth, but instead have a buffer-free service that works. Not only does this provide improved internal efficiency and long-term cost savings, but it also opens up access to a range of cloud-based applications and technology, improved service quality and increased business growth. 

How do I claim the voucher? 

If you’ve made the decision to go ahead, first you need to find a supplier. As you’d expect, we are an approved supplier of the scheme and can help your business find the right connection that meets your needs and the criteria of the scheme. Once you confirm you’re happy with the quote, this then needs to be supplied to DCMS and confirmed over email. When they approve, the voucher will simply be applied to your account and we will get you connected!

What’s the eligibility criteria? 

  • The business must employ fewer than 250 people
  • You must not have previously claimed from the scheme against your organisation
  • The business does not currently have a service that is capable of 1Gbps
  • You must opt for a service that at least doubles your current connection speed and is over 100Mbps

Looking at the available data, it shows that the scheme has increasingly becoming popular since the launch, with vouchers claimed increasing month on month. With the remaining balance currently at 20.4m and the average value claimed back being £2,313; that would mean there is only around 8,820 vouchers left.

Terms and conditions:

The Gigabit Voucher scheme reimburses the installation cost for SMEs who have upgraded their connection – up to a maximum of £2,500 (VAT not reimbursed).  This applies to new connections only. You must double the speed of your existing connection or opt for over 100Mbps (whichever is greater).  DCMS reserve the right to end the scheme at any time before 31st March 2021.  Minimum 12-month contract. Further terms and eligibility criteria apply, see GBVS Beneficiary T&Cs for more details. 

Stay connected with our Business Broadband

We offer a range of Business Broadband packages, designed to fit around your business needs. See what we can do for you today.

Related Blog Posts

Direct Routing & Disruption in Telecoms Partner Event

On Thursday 12th March, the Gradwell team headed to Eight Members Club in Moorgate, London, for our first partner event of the year. Our event was focused on Direct Routing &…

What we’re doing in response to Coronavirus

Like many of our customers, we’re following the news surrounding the Coronavirus outbreak very closely.   As a supplier of critical communications infrastructure to many businesses, we wanted to keep our…

Updates to the Gradwell Control Panel

At Gradwell, we’re constantly building new products and improving our systems. We've been working hard to update your user control panel, and you’ll be able to see these changes on…

Product Update: Why we're turning off the Gradwell Phone App

On 27th March, we’re switching off an old version of our Gradwell softphone app. This feature was intended as a useful tool for our original Multi User VoIP product, but we feel…

Introducing: The Partner Portal

We’ve recently revealed our latest product, Wave, a new hosted VoIP phone system designed for SMEs. In conjunction with the launch of Wave, our dedicated team of experts have been working on…

An easier way to log in to your Gradwell account

Starting from next week, we’re changing the way you log in to your Gradwell account. This simple but important change makes logging in easier and quicker. It will also unify…

Are we running out of 020 numbers?

In late 2019, Ofcom introduced a new 020 range of landline phone numbers for London, to keep the city connected. The demand for numbers has been on the rise, especially in London,…

What is a hunt group and how should you use them?

Having a phone system for your business is a great way to strengthen your communications with your colleagues and clients. While a phone system is vital for making and receiving…

How to choose a phone system for your startup

Starting a business is hard. You have to develop a product or service, find your target market, create your proposition and sort your commercials. When you start a business, it’s…

Partner update: January 2020

This year is shaping up to be pretty transformative; it's already seen us working on new products and improving some of our existing services. A new Wave (and a special…

What are the Ofcom end-of-contract notifications?

On the 15th February 2020, broadband, pay TV and mobile and home phone providers must notify their customers when their minimum contract period is coming to an end. This is a new…

What is a Session Border Controller?

A Session Border Controller or SBC is a device that is deployed in SIP-based VoIP networks to protect and regulate communication sessions. In the early days of SBC, it was focused on the…

Connecting Crisis at Christmas

We are delighted to announce that we'll be supporting the homelessness charity Crisis, this Christmas. With the festive period quickly approaching and temperatures plummeting, we are proud to be able to…

What does Labour’s “free broadband” promise really mean?

As part of their election manifesto, Labour have pledged that they will nationalise Openreach, who maintain most of the UK’s communications infrastructure, and provide full-fibre broadband to every UK home and business, for free. The project will…

Introducing Wave

We're delighted to announce a new product: Wave, a new hosted phone system designed for UK SMEs. Wave is the result of over 15 years of developing and providing cutting…

Get in touch with an expert today.