What is the Better Broadband Scheme?
The Government has made a commitment to provide every home and business in the UK with access to a basic broadband service so that browsing the web and keeping in touch with family and friends is easier. A subsidised broadband installation may be available if you cannot access an affordable broadband service with a download speed of at least 2Mb per second (mbps). The scheme will provide you with access to a basic broadband service that will offer speeds of at least 2mbps.
Eligible applicants will be given a unique Code which they then pass on to the basic broadband supplier. The supplier will claim the discount on the applicant’s behalf which will reduce the cost of the installation by up to £350. Any additional cost of the installation as well as any monthly fees must be paid for by the applicant.
Taking out a broadband service under this Scheme will not prevent your premises from being considered for superfast broadband in the future.
Is my home/business eligible for the Better Broadband Scheme?
Households and businesses can take advantage of the Scheme if they meet the following four criteria:
1. Your home or business is not currently able to access a broadband download speed of at least 2mbps.
2. There are no alternative affordable broadband services available to you, which would provide a download speed of at least 2mbps.
3. There are no plans to provide superfast broadband to your location within 12 months of your application.
4. There have been no previous applications for the scheme.
You can check your current broadband download speed on the DSL Checker. If you believe that you meet the eligibility criteria listed, then you can apply for the scheme although please bear in mind that your application may take up to 20 days to be processed.
I have applied for the scheme, now what happens?
If your application is successful you will be informed by a member of the Connected Counties team. Shortly afterwards you will also receive an email from the ‘Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’ which will hold your unique eligibility Code and the full list of suppliers registered to offer a subsidised broadband installation service in your area. If you do not receive this second email within a few hours of the first then please make sure you check your Junk mailbox before contacting the Connected Counties team.
Once you have received your Code you will have 60 days to place an order with your chosen supplier. The Code will become invalid following the 60 day period and we cannot guarantee that you will receive another code within the timeframe you desire. Please note that you will be entering into a minimum 12 month contract with the supplier of your choice.
If you do not meet the eligibility criteria and are therefore unsuccessful in your application, you will be informed by the Connected Counties team.
Applications to the Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme can be made up until the end of 2018.
Other ways to achieve Superfast services
Gigabit Voucher Scheme
Could you and your business benefit from a full fibre network? BDUK – a government team promoting the rollout of faster broadband - announced in March 2018, the launch of a Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme which is designed to benefit small and medium sized businesses, as well as local communities. The scheme forms part of the government’s vision of a Full Fibre Britain by offering the fastest and most reliable speeds available (up to 1000mbps).
Businesses can form group projects with other businesses and also with residents, before choosing a participating supplier in their area to complete the installation. The supplier will be able to claim discount vouchers from BDUK against the cost of the connection. If the cost of the installation is more than the value of the pooled vouchers, the businesses and residents will need to fund the difference.
To ensure that even more people and businesses are able to benefit from the scheme, the original maximum amount that can be claimed by a business towards installation has reduced from £3000 to £2500. Residential premises are still able to benefit from a voucher of up to £500 as part of a group project.
Group projects will need to meet the eligibility requirements before work can begin in their area. For a full list of criteria and terms & conditions of this scheme please visit https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/.
If you think your business could benefit from Ultrafast speeds, we would encourage you to contact a supplier to find out more.