To ask Her Majesty's Government what funding is available to help with the cost of installing (1) superfast, and (2) gigabit-capable, broadband to residential premises, either individually or as part of a Community Fibre Partnership; and whether such funding is available throughout the UK.
28 April 2020
Under the Government’s Superfast Broadband programme, premises that are included in a rollout programme do not need to pay for the upgrade to their broadband speeds. They are, however, liable for the recurring costs associated with taking out a superfast service once the upgrade has been completed. These publicly funded rollout programmes are taking place across the UK. To date £1.8 billion of public funding has been invested into this programme, and a further £836 million of new procurement is underway utilising a variety of public funding sources.
Delivery under the Superfast programme is now utilising Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) technology where possible. This technology provides homes and businesses with a fast, reliable and future-proof connection. Furthermore commercial build operators are also rolling out FTTP to homes and businesses across the UK. This commercial build activity is not utilising public funding.
Through our Rural Gigabit Connectivity Programme (RGC), DCMS runs a voucher scheme that can be used by rural communities across the UK to reduce the cost of installing gigabit-capable connectivity. This provides a voucher worth up to £3,500 for eligible small businesses and vouchers worth up to £1,500 for residents.
Community Fibre Partnerships are an initiative offered by Openreach. Openreach will work with local communities to build a customised fibre solution to bring fibre broadband to homes and businesses. A joint funding arrangement is put in place, which means Openreach will contribute to some of the costs and the rest is funded by the community.
Our vouchers can be used in an Openreach Community Fibre Partnership to reduce the costs borne by the community. It is worth noting, however, that Openreach is not the only supplier offering community fibre solutions, and we have over 700 network suppliers registered on the scheme. Our voucher website enables residents or small businesses to enter their postcode and see which suppliers are active in their area.