The vast majority of homes and business in Wales can now access superfast broadband. However, there still remains premises without access, which the private sector has no plans to address.
As part of our efforts to assist the remaining premises we are today announcing an agreement with the UK Government to provide additional funding for the premises in Wales through their Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme.
Gigabit broadband vouchers can be used be small businesses and the local communities surrounding them to contribute to the installation cost of a gigabit-capable broadband connection. Businesses and residents in Wales will now be eligible for additional funding from the Welsh Government towards these costs.
Through the UK Government scheme businesses can currently claim up to £2500 against the cost of a gigabit capable connection either individually or as part of a project. Residents can claim a voucher worth £500 as part of a group project that includes a business. For group projects, the Welsh Government will pay up to an additional £3000 per small to medium-sized business (SME) and an additional £300 per residential property. This means that for the group projects in Wales up to £5500 is available per business and up to £800 is available per residential property.
Although more than 95 per cent of premises in Wales can now access superfast broadband, we are working hard on assisting the remaining five per cent. There is no one size fits all solution and the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme is just one of the suite of measures to assist.
We are already investing £22.5m to reach 26,000 of the remaining premises through the fibre broadband. This is in addition to the £200m of public investment in the Superfast Cymru programme, which has connected more than 733,000 premises where commercial companies had no plans to go.
The Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme will replace the Welsh Government’s Ultrafast Connectivity Voucher, which will close as of today’s date (22nd of March, 2019). Applications to that scheme received prior to this date will still be considered. Our Access Broadband Cymru scheme will continue to be available to provide grants to fund the installation costs of new broadband connections.
The Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme can provide a vital funding source for group connectivity projects, which you may wish to promote in your area. The UK Government can issue a monthly report outlining application numbers in your area to enable you to track demand. To sign up please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further information on the scheme and the range of options available in Wales can be found at www.gov.wales/broadband.