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Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced that the Nationwide Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme (GBVS) will provide vouchers to help SMEs and residents with the costs of connecting to full fibre broadband.
The £67 million investment in faster internet connections, which makes £3,000 available for a small or medium sized business or £500 to residents, is part of a wider government plan to get more homes and businesses connected to full fibre broadband, building on the £200 million Local Full Fibre Networks programme.
Currently, only and estimated three per cent of UK premises have access to a full fibre connection.
Hammond said: “We’re backing Britain’s small businesses by investing £67 million to bring full-fibre broadband to more businesses up and down the country. This means faster, more reliable broadband access as we build the digital infrastructure we need to make our economy fit for the future.”
Commenting on the announcement, Digital Minister Matt Hancock said: “Small businesses are the backbone of the British economy and now they can turbo-charge their connectivity with gigabit speeds. By building a full fibre future for Britain we are laying the foundations for a digital infrastructure capable of delivering today what the next generation will need tomorrow.”
A market trial of the voucher scheme for business premises was launched in late 2017 in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, Bristol, with Bath and North East Somerset, Coventry and Warwickshire and West Yorkshire and York, combining to allocate approximately 1,000 vouchers to small businesses through the pilot.