The Gigabit Voucher Scheme was introduced by the Government in 2019 and since then, a lot of businesses have taken advantage of it’s benefits. This has led to the scheme almost completely running out of funds way before the end date in March 2021.
Discover more about the scheme below and why you should take action now, if you’re eligible. Speak to our team today about how we can help you take advantage of this grant.
What is the Gigabit scheme?
This grant is from the DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and is designed to help small businesses become more productive and efficient with a reliable Internet connection.
Who qualifies for it?
Only SMEs, registered charities, social enterprises and sole traders are eligible for the scheme, and they must meet the following criteria:
- Have no more than 249 people employed
- Their annual turnover is below €50 million and the balance sheet is below €43 million
- The business itself is not a subsidiary or under the control of a larger SME
- It must comply with the European State Aid rules, which state; it must have received less than €200,000 in the current and two previous financial years in De Minimis aid – businesses in fishery and aquaculture primary production, processing and marketing of agricultural products, coal, steel and ship-building have different allowances, and must seek approval from the local authority before
- The connection is for business premises only. If your main work base for your business is your home, this counts too
The service has been extremely popular and because of this, the DCMS have made some changes to the criteria that came into effect on 31st January 2020. Now, areas which have speeds of 100Mbps or faster are no longer eligible for the service.
Any claims that are already in progress using the old criteria can still be submitted until 14th February, as long as the voucher is claimed by 29th May 2020.
Why you should take action now
The DCMS recently announced that 77% of the £67.8 million grant has already been claimed, with a huge risk of the funds running out before the March 2021 deadline.
There are currently enough projects that have been submitted, that if approved, would take up the remaining budget. Once the fund has run out, they DCMS have stated that they will not be issuing any further vouchers.
Although there are projects which have been submitted that may take up the budget, not all of these will be approved, so it’s extremely important to get your application in as soon as possible, in order to not miss out on this extremely useful government grant.
Call us today for advice
At Southern Comms, we have already helped around 150 businesses achieve better connections through the Gigabit scheme. If you are hoping to benefit from this grant, get in touch with our team on 01256 391 046 as soon as possible and we will take care of adding the benefit to your quote.