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Government Extend UK Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme to 2028

Friday, Mar 15th, 2024 (5:23 pm) - Score 4,800
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According to our sources, the Government’s Building Digital UK (BDUK) agency has this afternoon informed UK network operators that their Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme (GBVS), which was originally due to end in March 2025, has been extended up to financial year 2027 to 2028, and “possibly beyond if needed“.

The GBVS generally offers grants worth up to £4,500 to rural homes and businesses to help them get a gigabit-capable broadband (1Gbps) ISP service installed, which is available to areas with speeds of “less than 100Mbps” – assuming there are also no near-term plans for a gigabit deployment in the same area (either via private investment or state-aid). Some Local Authorities (LA) have also provided top-up funding to boost the voucher values, enabling them to reach remote areas.

NOTE: The GBVS is currently being supported by an investment of £210m via the wider £5bn Project Gigabit programme.

Suppliers to the scheme had previously been told that all vouchers would need to be connected and claimed before the end of March 2025, but this will now continue for at least another couple of years. BDUK informed suppliers that they would continue to accept new project applications and suppliers will continue to have 12 months from the date of issue of the voucher to complete the connection.

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In short, Vouchers will continue to be issued after March 2024, and can be claimed within their 12-month period up to March 2028. The catch is that we don’t yet know if the same extension will be applied to other voucher schemes, such as the similar but separate one in Scotland (SBVS), which would be a matter for the Scottish Government to decide.

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Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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Comments
5 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Chris says:

    Reading between the lines I’m guessing this is because Project Gigabit Failed miserably to get the contracts in place so now they’re trying to plug the gaps using GBVS (We’re Lot 4 and now with the removed project gigabit website have even less information as to the state of the area but the redirect seems to indicate we are now eligible for vouchers whereas previously we weren’t)

    1. Avatar photo outofmyshed says:

      Good luck getting any response out of Openreach to actually use the vouchers. I’ve been trying to register to get a Community Fibre Partnership going for three months because of the Lot 4 failure, but the registration page is broken and Openreach don’t respond to my emails about it.

    2. Avatar photo Stephen says:

      Contact iNorthumberland & Digital Durham as they’ll be able to tell you the suppliers looking at voucher projects in the lot 4 area. Or contact suppliers directly. Alncom & B4RN are already building voucher projects in the lot 4 area for example. It has been very difficult to get community fibre projects registered over the past few years, but now that vouchers are open again, it should be possible, especially with active Altnets in the area.

    3. Avatar photo Andrew G says:

      Voucher schemes are always costly to implement, and have low takeup. This is well understood in government circles, and is nothing unique to telecoms. As an example, takeup of childcare vouchers was estimated to be around 22% of those eligible. Takeup of the Green Homes voucher scheme was miserable (43,000 households out of a possible 600,000, the Heat Pumps voucher schemes was a similar failure.

      You might then ask “why do government keep offering voucher schemes when they are unpopular, complicated, expensive, and fail to deliver the intended outcomes?”

      The answer to that is twofold – as suggested, Project Gigabit is in big trouble. But also, voucher schemes enable politician to announce huge amounts allocated to a voucher-supported policy, knowing full well that the money won’t be spent. Incidentally, they do the same when announcing “extra money” to do things like reduce NHS waiting times or for councils to fix potholes – they announce £x00 million extra money to fix the problem, but what the public don’t see is that this invariably has to be spent by the end of the financial year, and government know full well that it is often impossible to deliver such schemes in a matter of months.

      The art of British politics these days is to appear to spend money on things you want, without actually rolling up their sleeves and ensuring that the claimed purpose is delivered. And whilst it is tempting to blame the Conservative party, the practice of “new money” announcements was pioneered by the Blair government – they’re all the same.

  2. Avatar photo Tom says:

    What’s the point when Openreach quote 100k for running the fibre up the garden and say it’ll take them 3 years to get to it

    CBT and spine are already there but there are no roll out plans *sigh*

Comments are closed

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