What is the “Gigabit Voucher Scheme”?

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As part of Project Gigabit , the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has implemented a voucher scheme to help individuals in rural areas access gigabit-capable broadband speeds for the first time.


Traditionally, rural areas of the country have been left frustrated with little to no access to reliable and cost-effective internet. And in a world where even your kettle can be hooked up to the internet, it’s getting increasingly difficult to maintain a comfortable lifestyle without broadband you can rely on.


Unfortunately, installing the infrastructure to support a future-proof broadband network is costly and, until now, has been prohibitively expensive for most broadband suppliers – leaving those of you who live in rural areas in the dark.
Thankfully, that’s all changing.


What is “gigabit-capable” broadband?


“Gigabit-capable” broadband is ultrafast and reliable broadband using full-fibre connection (otherwise known as FTTP or FTTH connections). This type of broadband supports symmetrical connections – this just means you can expect the same upload and download speeds, unlike traditional broadband where you’re more likely to see slower upload speeds.


Full-fibre broadband is where fibre optic cables travel all the way from the exchange directly to your home. Most existing BT cables use fibre up to the cabinet, but the remaining cable is old-fashioned copper; this is where speeds can drastically decrease. Full-fibre allows for speeds of over a gigabit per second – over 20 times faster than standard fibre, in most cases!


Why do you need ultrafast broadband?


We’ve all experienced the frustration that comes with slow internet speeds, buffering videos and lagging speeds. The average UK household uses 28 internet-based devices, including laptops, games consoles, smart TVs and mobile phones. With all these devices pulling internet data around the clock, you need a broadband connection that can withstand such heavy-duty use.


As we move into more impressive technology such as 8K televisions and internet-heavy gaming demanding higher quality connections, ultrafast broadband will be the only way to ensure all devices are connected to an acceptable quality.


And if you run a business, a reliable connection is equally important. Whether you offer WiFi to your customers or need connectivity to run your point of sale systems, we recognise that a reliable connection is one of the backbones of your business.


How does the gigabit voucher scheme work?


The scheme has been set up to provide eligible people with the funding needed to help them get connected to full-fibre broadband – this effectively allows eligible customers to get connected without having to pay an installation fee.


If you’re interested in getting ultrafast broadband, we’ve made the process as straightforward as possible:


First, we’ll check if you’re eligible for the DCMS Gigabit Voucher. If you are, you’ll be asked if you’d like to take advantage of the free installation as part of the sign-up process. The good news is that we’ll apply on your behalf, all you have to do is:

  • Confirm you’re happy to apply
  • Provide us with your details so we can sign you up for the voucher
  • Confirm if you’re a business or not, and the size of business if you are


Once DCMS has received your application, they’ll contact you directly via email to confirm you’re happy to receive the voucher. You just have to confirm with them within 28 days to get the ball rolling.


We’ll let DCMS know once you’ve been connected, and they’ll send you another email to make sure you’re happy with the service. You need to reply to this email to confirm for the voucher to be activated and then the installation fee will be fully refunded to your account.


Want to check when Lothian Broadband will be available in your area? Find out with our availability checker