Who is eligible?
Home and businesses in rural locations which meet the following criteria can use vouchers to support the cost of installing new gigabit-capable connections when part of a group project.
- Existing broadband speeds are less than 100Mbps
- A gigabit capable network isn’t likely to be built to that area commercially in the near future
- There is no government-funded contract planned or in place to improve the network already
Group projects are when two or more residents and/or eligible businesses get together to combine their vouchers towards the shared cost of installation. Single connections are not eligible for the scheme. Projects will also be subject to BDUK commercial and value for money assessments.
Your new connection speed must reach:
- At least double your existing speed if your current speed is less than 50Mbps
- At least 100Mbps if your current speed is more than 50Mbps
‘Rural’ is defined using agreed standard measures in the relevant part of the UK. For the gigabit voucher premises in the following areas will be defined as rural.
- England & Wales – ONS definitions D1 – F2
- Northern Ireland – NISRA definitions E – H
- Scotland – NRS definitions 3 – 8
You can check whether your home or business is eligible on the Get a voucher page. The search will list suppliers that are active in your area. Your chosen supplier will be able to advise and support your eligibility and guide you through the process.
In order to qualify for a business voucher you will be asked to self-certify that you are an Small or Medium size Enterprise (SME), as defined by sections 465 to 467 of the Companies Act 2006 which can be summarised as:
- Up to 249 employees and annual turnover no greater than £36 million; and/or
- An annual balance sheet total not exceeding £18 million.
You will be asked to provide evidence of your status as a SME or sole trader.
You will also have to self-certify that the organisation will have received less than 325,000 Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) in public grants over any period of three fiscal years including the current year, including the voucher contribution.
The Special Drawing Rights amount has replaced the €200,000 de minimis grant limit following the UK’s exit from the European Union on the 31st December 2020. The SDR to GBP exchange rate can be found here.
Not-for-profit and charitable undertakings which qualify as SMEs are eligible in the same way that for-profit enterprises are.