Vouchers explained

Wessex Internet Team

We’re committed to building a full fibre network that connects and serves even the most remote countryside communities.

To do this, we’re often installing to places that other companies are unable, or unwilling, to go. We work with communities to identify ‘not-spots’ and then build a full fibre network to them supported by government funding. This funding is usually in the form of vouchers.

What are vouchers?

Since 2018, the Department for Media Culture and Sport (DCMS), the government department responsible for broadband, has invested millions of pounds to improve broadband coverage across the UK through voucher schemes.

They designed the schemes so that residents and businesses in a community can join together as a group, and claim funding collectively for a full fibre network to be brought to their individual properties.

We’ve been working with DCMS from the very beginning to lead the change and connect the countryside.

The voucher schemes were designed so groups of residents and businesses in a community can join together as a group, and all claim funding for a full fibre network to be built in their community.

The first programme, known as the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme was used for two years. It was replaced by Rural Gigabit Connectivity Vouchers (RGCV). Both of these schemes have now closed for new applications.

The current voucher scheme is UK Gigabit Vouchers (UKGV). Launched in April 2021, residents and businesses in rural areas with broadband speeds of less than 100Mbps can claim a voucher of £1,500 per home, and up to £3,500 (excluding VAT) per business, to support the cost of installing full fibre broadband to their community.

Do I have to pay towards my installation if I claim a voucher?

No, we offer free installation to all customers in areas where vouchers are available, as long as you allow us to apply for a voucher on your behalf and which you then validate once your service has been connected.

Businesses will need to pay the VAT on the value of the voucher.

What are top-up vouchers?

For the most remote rural communities, where the costs to connect properties are very high, UKGV funding sometimes just isn’t enough to make it possible to build a brand new network.

As a result some local authorities have launched ‘top up’ voucher schemes that provide additional funding.

Both Dorset County Council and Hampshire County Council have top-up funding available which we use to help to reach the most remote countryside communities.

The amount of funding available depends on your local authority. If your property is eligible for top-up funding we will let you know when you register your interest with us.

How do I know which voucher to claim?

It may sound complicated, but it’s really very simple as we do everything for you.

First, find out if our service is available where you live using our coverage checker.

If you live in an area where we have full fibre already or are about to start building in, you can simply place your order online. If we need to request a voucher on your behalf to support the cost of your installation, this will all be explained clearly as you order.

If we don’t have full fibre in your area yet, we’ll ask you to register your interest. This helps us to see where there is demand for our service and where we should build to next.

You may find we already have a community project running in your area that’s eligible for funding through a voucher scheme. If that’s the case our sales team will be in touch to explain how it works and what happens next.

You can find out more about some of our community projects here.

How do I claim a voucher?

We sort everything out for you. We’ll know which type of voucher is available for your property. You just need to let us know if you are a home or business.

Once you have placed your order, we apply to DCMS for a voucher on your behalf. They will email you directly to confirm the details and ask you to complete a short online form. Please complete this within 28 days to validate your voucher or it will be cancelled.

Once you’ve got your fantastic new full fibre connection, DCMS will email you once again to confirm that your installation has taken place. Again, all you have to do is complete a short online form within 28 days. It’s really important that you complete this to ensure we can claim the full cost of your installation. Please be aware that if the voucher isn’t validated and we are unable to reclaim the cost from DCMS, that we will have to invoice the you for the cost of installation.

All you need to do then is sit back, relax and enjoy your unbeatable connection.