This page contains a guide about the stages of your voucher application and to assist in understanding some of the scheme’s terms and conditions.
Information about your voucher and your wider community project is only available through the broadband network provider you have chosen.
1.What is a voucher?
A voucher is a subsidy from the government to help with the cost of installing a faster, more reliable broadband connection to your property through gigabit-capable technology.
2. What do the installation costs include?
Network providers can sometimes connect your property to the internet using the cables and wires that they already have in place nearby. They often make a charge for this – often less than £100. The voucher can only be used if the cost for providing a new connection is greater than £500. The voucher cannot be used to pay for any of the ongoing monthly costs linked to the service you order.
3. What does ‘gigabit-capable’ mean?
It means that the new connection must be able to give you the potential for a broadband connection speed of at least 1,000 megabits per second – that’s more than 10 times faster than the current UK average (mean) broadband download speed (Ofcom – Nov 2020). It does not mean that you have to buy that much speed if you don’t need it yet. You only pay for the speed that is suitable for your use and you can shop around for the best deal to suit your needs.
4. What is a project?
This is where a network provider registered to the scheme agrees with us to offer vouchers as part of a new gigabit-capable network that will benefit at least two properties. Some of the projects that are part of the scheme have hundreds of connections supported with vouchers, others have just a handful.
5. Am I liable for any VAT?
All residential voucher beneficiaries have VAT costs covered by the voucher.
Vouchers for small to medium-sized enterprises cannot cover VAT which remains your responsibility. We recommend that you contact your supplier directly to find out further details surrounding any potential VAT liability.
6. Where does the voucher funding go?
The voucher funding will be paid directly to your supplier once the installation has been completed and you have confirmed by responding to our email that the work has been completed to a satisfactory standard.
7. What is the difference between the supplier delivering the connection and service provider?
As part of your terms and conditions, your supplier will be able to guide you as to who can provide your internet service once the installation has been completed. We recommend you contact your supplier directly to find out further details. Many are able to offer a choice of providers and prices.
8. Am I able to sign up to any service provider once my installation has been completed?
We recommend checking with your supplier directly for more details about who they work with once the installation has been completed.
9. If I sign up to the scheme but decide to not go ahead, will I be liable for any money?
If you decide to cancel prior to your installation taking place, you could be liable depending on the agreement you have in place with your supplier. We recommend that you contact your supplier directly to discuss this issue further, prior to cancelling your voucher.
10. What do I do if my neighbours aren’t interested?
Speak with suppliers who are interested in developing a project supported with vouchers in your area. Many of the suppliers who are taking part in the scheme have lots of experience of developing projects across the UK.
11. Will the voucher cover the whole cost of installing my new connection?
In most cases, yes. Your supplier will tell you right at the beginning if you need to contribute to the cost. Local authorities in some parts of the UK have added their own funds to increase the maximum value of vouchers. Our website will tell you if this is the case in your local authority area.
1. Which suppliers are available in my area?
All suppliers that are active in your area can be found by entering your postcode into our postcode checker which can be found on [the gigabit voucher] website(https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/).
2. What is the minimum number of beneficiaries needed to set up a voucher project in my area?
The minimum number of participants needed in order to set up a voucher project for a particular local area is two. However, the more participants that you have, the more overall funding you can accumulate towards the installation costs to get to your properties. If you are very rural, it can be very costly.
3. If I run a business from home, can I claim a voucher?
Yes, provided that the business is a legitimate trading entity registered at that address. You will be asked to provide a utility bill or unique tax reference as proof.
4. If I run a business from home, can I claim both a business and a residential voucher?
No. Only one voucher can be claimed per premise for which either business rates or council tax is payable. When a property is shared, the number of vouchers that can be claimed is determined by the number of premises within that property, often indicated by separate business rates or council taxes that are payable.
Voucher Application and Validation
1. Where can I find my voucher number?
Your voucher number will be listed on all correspondence from DCMS and will be in the corresponding format GV******.
2. My details are incorrect on my voucher. What should I do?
We recommend you contact your supplier directly to inform them that your details are incorrect. They will either submit a request to us so the details can be amended or the voucher may be cancelled and a new one requested.
3. Once I validate my voucher, how long do suppliers have to complete the installation?
Up to 12 months from the date of issue. For specific installation dates, please contact your supplier directly.
4. How long do I have to validate my voucher request?
Voucher validation requests need to be completed within 28 days of receipt of the first email from DCMS requesting that you complete the form. If the validation email is not completed within the 28 day period, the voucher will be automatically cancelled.
5. How do I validate my voucher?
There is a link included on the voucher validation email which requires you to confirm your details and that you agree to the scheme’s terms and conditions. You will receive an email from email@example.com so please check your spam box.
6. How am I sure that a supplier won’t apply for a voucher on my behalf without my approval?
When suppliers submit voucher requests on your behalf, a validation email will be automatically sent to your email address. This provides you with an opportunity to confirm your details are correct, you have knowingly signed up to the scheme and that you agree to the scheme’s terms and conditions.
If you fail to complete the voucher validation process within the 28 days of receipt of the email, the voucher will be cancelled.
7. Once I have validated my voucher, am I able to transfer my voucher to a different supplier?
No, unfortunately vouchers are not transferable.
8. Does a supplier have to complete my installation if the voucher is validated?
No, the voucher can be cancelled by the supplier at any time. We encourage suppliers to inform you prior to cancellation if they decide not to continue with your installation.
9. If I decide to not continue with the installation and want to cancel the voucher, would I still be able to do so without any cost to myself?
Yes, you are able to cancel your installation and voucher at any time prior to the installation starting at no extra cost to yourself.
10. Why has my voucher been disputed?
A voucher is disputed if we require further information from either yourself or the supplier. Your supplier will be in contact with you directly about what information is required. Please be prepared to provide evidence of trading, company details and / or sole trader status for any business or sole trader voucher.
Voucher Expiry and Cancellation
1. I am no longer interested in the scheme and want to cancel my voucher, how do I do this?
You are able to cancel your voucher at any time prior to the installation taking place at no extra cost to yourself. We recommend you contact your supplier directly to request the cancellation of your voucher.
2.i) I am moving house – am I able to cancel or transfer this voucher to my new premise?
2.ii) I am moving house – am I able to transfer the voucher to the new tenants/owners?
i) If you are moving house, we recommend contacting your supplier directly to inform them of this change. Unfortunately, vouchers are non-transferable which means you will not be able to transfer the existing voucher to your new property.
ii) Unfortunately, vouchers are non-transferable which means you are unable to transfer your voucher to the new tenants/owners. If the new tenants/owners wish to continue with the scheme, we recommend you refer them to your supplier to organise a replacement voucher.
3. What does the 1 month until expiry email mean?
This is an automated email which we distribute to all beneficiaries whose voucher is approaching the end of the 12-month installation window. Your supplier will also be notified that your voucher is approaching the 12-month installation window
4. How do I extend my voucher?
Please contact your supplier directly to request a voucher extension.
5. I have just received my 1 month expiry email and have not heard anything from my supplier about an installation date. What can I do?
We recommend you contact your supplier directly to request an installation date.
6. My voucher has been issued for a while now but I have not received any correspondence from the supplier. Is my voucher still valid?
If your voucher was issued within the last 12 months then it will still be valid until 12 months after the date of issue. Please contact the supplier undertaking your installation for any information regarding installation dates.
1. My installation isn’t working or performing as expected. I am therefore unable to complete the voucher claim form. What should I do?
Please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and provide the following information:
* An explanation of the issue
* The steps your supplier plans to take or has taken to resolve the issue
* Your known speeds prior to the installation taking place
* Speed test results showing the speeds that you’ve been receiving
2. I received an email informing me that the supplier has installed my new connection, but this is not the case. What should I do?
In the first instance, contact your supplier and explain that you are not yet connected. If they disagree, please contact us email@example.com to let us know and we will investigate further.
3. My connection has not yet been installed. Will the supplier have received funding for my voucher already?
Voucher funding is only paid to suppliers once the installation has been completed and you have confirmed that you are satisfied with the service provided when we send you an email and ask you to complete the installation validation form.