New Government funding has been announced to help businesses and residents in some of the hardest-to-reach places in Hampshire get access to the latest broadband technology through a Rural Gigabit Voucher Scheme.
Internet speeds offered as part of the scheme can reach up to 1000 Megabits per second (Mbps) – more than enough for any household or small-medium sized enterprise (SME).
Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Economic Development, Human Resources and Performance, Councillor Stephen Reid, said: “In the 21st century, access to super-fast broadband is a basic infrastructure requirement, so I welcome this initiative to help people and businesses in the remaining rural areas are where it’s needed most. It can help businesses expand or even start-up, give people better access to information, enable them to do more online and even reduce social isolation. This funding will help us reach beyond the 95% superfast broadband coverage we have already achieved in Hampshire and make a real difference to rural communities.”
To be eligible for the Rural Gigabit Voucher scheme, people must be part of a group project – which means two or more residents and/or SMEs would have to apply together, live in a rural area and have current broadband speeds below 30 Mbps. Successful applicants can claim up to £3,500 per (SME) and up to £1,500 per resident to support the cost of installing new gigabit-capable connections.
This scheme is running in conjunction with the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme which is only open to residents if they apply with a business and is available in rural and non-rural areas.
For more information visit: https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/rural/ . The website includes a postcode checker which gives a list of internet service providers in your area. If you are eligible for the Rural Gigabit Voucher scheme it will also tell you that the postcode meets the criteria. If this is the case, you can then apply for the voucher scheme through your chosen provider.