Gigabit broadband vouchers for rural homes and businesses

Around 16,000 homes and 900 small to medium-sized businesses in rural areas in Kirklees may be eligible for funding towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband according to Kirklees Council.

Homes and businesses in outlying areas including Birkenshaw, Marsden, Meltham, Shepley, Skelmanthorpe and Slaithwaite could benefit from the government’s Rural Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme.

How does this work?

Funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the scheme provides vouchers that can be used towards the cost of installing gigabit capable broadband. One gigabit is the same as 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps).

The nationwide scheme encourages the installation of these full-fibre, fast connections in hard-to-reach areas that aren’t likely to be connected through the commercial rollout of gigabit networks.

Councillor Peter McBride, Cabinet Member for Regeneration said:

“Access to fast broadband speeds ensure our local businesses and communities benefit from substantially improved internet performance, reliability and increased productivity.

During a year when many of us have been unable to go into the office, the internet has allowed many of us to continue our work from home. It’s also been a vital tool in helping us to connect with family and friends, and even helping to keep a nation entertained when we’ve been unable to go out.

When our broadband works well, we take it for granted. But there’s nothing worse than the ‘circle of doom’ as you try to download something, it’s disruptive and frustrating.

Gigabit capable broadband helps our businesses and communities to stay connected and facilitates the increasing demand for flexible working and studying at home. Wherever home happens to be.

I’d encourage anyone living or working in a rural area in Kirklees to check if they could be eligible for the scheme.”

Under the scheme, two or more rural homes or businesses with broadband speeds of less than 100 Mbps can group together to use vouchers worth £1,500 per home, or £3,500 per small to medium-sized business to support the cost of installing the new connections.

Those eligible for the scheme access it through a registered supplier who requests the voucher on behalf of their customers.

Am I eligible? 

See if you’re eligible for the rural voucher, and find registered suppliers in your area, by entering your postcode at www.gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk