Local councils boost funding for Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme for rural areas

Local councils boost funding for Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme for rural areas

The announcement today builds on the earlier government update, setting out that a further 250,000 English homes and businesses are now eligible for boosted funding from 17 English councils for the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme.

More than £22 million of additional funding has been provided by local councils to top-up the values of the vouchers in their areas. The Scheme targets areas where the cost of building new gigabit broadband infrastructure is likely to be too high for commercial operators to cover alone. Since May 2019, vouchers worth up to £3,500 for small and medium sized businesses and up to £1,500 for residential premises have been available to cover these costs in rural areas across the UK. 

The local authorities to provide funding are: the Borderlands, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, County Durham, Derbyshire, Dorset, East Riding of Yorkshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Sussex and Worcestershire.

As this announcement underscores, evaluating the impact and contribution of fibre and 5G deployment at a local level will continue to be a focus for local and national opinion formers alike. The Broadband Stakeholder Group has published a new summary booklet, with Oxera, intended to serve as a practical guide for local authorities when assessing infrastructure deployment proposals.

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