We're investing £500,000 to ‘top-up’ the government’s existing Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme which helps people in hard-to-reach locations get a fast, reliable broadband service.
The extra funding will double the amount of financial support that eligible households and businesses with broadband speeds of less than 100Mbps in rural parts of Derbyshire are entitled to, and will help pay for the cost of installing faster and more reliable connections to their premises.
It means these premises, providing they are not already in a government-funded plan for a broadband upgrade, can now apply for up to £3,000 per household and up to £7,000 per small to medium sized business.
This investment is in addition to our existing Digital Derbyshire programme - a multi-million pound partnership with the UK government and Openreach which has made better, faster broadband available to more than 102,000 premises across the county.
Our Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Infrastructure Councillor Simon Spencer said:
“A number of Derbyshire communities have already benefitted from the voucher scheme and this new ‘Top-Up’ funding means more homes and businesses in the hardest to reach locations of Derbyshire can take advantage of the scheme.
“The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted just how important it is to have access to fast and reliable broadband. Whether it’s keeping in touch with loved ones or working from home the demand to be digitally connected has increased and this extra investment by the county council will further help to bridge the digital divide.”
Digital Infrastructure Minister, Matt Warman said:
"We're committed to levelling up rural communities across the UK with world-class broadband that will improve lives and boost the economy.
“Derbyshire County Council is backing our mission to bring gigabit speed broadband to every corner of the country. I'm urging the county's rural homes and businesses to check our website to see if they’re eligible for a voucher to give them a broadband boost.”
To apply for the scheme residents and businesses can visit the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme website to find a list of suppliers in their local area.
Once they have made contact with a supplier, the supplier will apply for the relevant level of funding required to help pay for an upgraded service.
The deadline for applying for the voucher scheme is 31 March 2021.