The past couple of years have been an incredibly stressful period for many people. There were record job losses as numerous businesses were forced to stop trading and were unable to adapt to working from home. As such, there are understandably many people that are going through financial difficulties. Thankfully, there have been some remedies put in place to help people pay their bills in these difficult times.
The government has confirmed that they are going to be providing up to £210 million worth of voucher funding in order to help people who are experiencing slow broadband speeds in rural areas. The amount you can earn depends on whether you are a household or a business, as homes are able to receive up to £1500 in vouchers and £3500 for businesses, which should assist with covering the costs for installing the broadband.
About the Scheme
The scheme has been introduced because of the fact the government is dedicating time to ensure that everyone in the UK has lightning-fast broadband as soon as possible. They are currently working tirelessly with broadband providers in order to accelerate these development plans.
In order to ensure that no area is left behind, around £5 billion is being invested into areas that are harder to reach and which will therefore be more expensive to build on.
The rollout to these hard to reach areas is expected to happen in the next few years; however, if you live in one of these rural areas and don’t want to wait for the rollout, you are able to apply for these vouchers through this new scheme.
Who is Eligible?
The vouchers are available for any home or business set in a rural location who meet one of the following criteria:
- Existing broadband speeds of less than 100Mbps
- If a gigabit capable network is unlikely to be built in that area in the near future
- There is no government-funded contract planned or in place that will improve said network already
You can also check whether or not your home address is eligible on the get a voucher page that has been set up. This search will allow you to look up numerous different suppliers that are active in your area and that supplier will be able to give you advice on your eligibility and also guide you through the process.
If you are a business and looking to qualify then you will also need to prove that you are a Small or Medium sized Enterprise, this is defined as:
- A company that has up to 249 employees and an annual turnover no greater than £36 million; and/or
- An annual balance sheet total that does not exceed £18 million.
Upon application, you will be required to provide evidence of your status as an SME or a sole trader.
The importance of having a good internet connection is currently prevalent due to covid-19 moving almost everything online. As such there are a lot of people who require a solid broadband connection. These can be expensive, hence why there is now the opportunity to apply for a discount. You should also set up some IT support if you are running your own business. F1 Support will be able to provide you with all of the necessary information when doing this.
Image from freepix.com