County Council adds £1million to rural broadband scheme
Hampshire County Council is investing £1 million to step up its drive to get high-speed broadband out to the most rural parts of the county. The funding will ‘top-up’ the Government’s existing Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, to help people in hard-to-reach locations get a fast, reliable broadband service.
The County Council’s Executive Member for Commercial Strategy, Human Resources and Performance, Councillor Stephen Reid, said: “96% of Hampshire can now access superfast broadband with speeds of 24Mbps (Megabits per second) or more. This is a fantastic achievement, but we want to extend access further.”
Digital Infrastructure Minister, Matt Warman, said: ''Better broadband enhances lives, and it's great to see Hampshire investing alongside government to make that a rapid reality. As part of our plans to level up communities across the UK, we’re prioritising bringing the economic and social benefits of gigabit-capable broadband to rural areas. Even more help is now at hand for rural parts of Hampshire currently suffering with slow speeds. I encourage people and businesses in these areas to check if they’re eligible for a voucher to boost their broadband with these next-generation speeds.”
The Hampshire Top-Up to the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme will enable eligible residents to get vouchers worth up to £3,000 per property - double that of the standard government voucher. Gigabit-capable broadband (also known as ultrafast broadband) has speeds of up to 1000Mbps or 1Gbps. It means residents will be getting the latest technology, delivered straight to their homes – with final speeds being determined by the package chosen by the resident.
To qualify for the scheme, residents must live in a rural area, be unable to get broadband speeds of 100Mbps or more and apply as a group of two or more premises. Not everyone within a community has to apply – the aim is for there to be enough interest to cover the installation costs (or as near as possible), so that the infrastructure can be built, and gigabit-capable broadband can be made available.
To find out if you are eligible, follow the below steps:
1. Find out more about the scheme and check whether you live in an eligible area by going to www.hampshiresuperfastbroadband.com/top-up and entering your postcode
2. If you can already access superfast broadband, a pop-up message will tell you this, and direct you to suppliers. Upgrading to superfast broadband is not something that happens automatically
3. If superfast broadband isn’t available yet, but you live in an area which means you qualify for the Hampshire Top-Up to the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, a pop up message will direct you to the government website to find a registered supplier
4/ The supplier will provide you with a quote and make the application for the vouchers on your behalf and guide you through the process
The Hampshire Top-Up Voucher will be allocated on a 'first-come, first served' basis. To find out more, go to www.hampshiresuperfastbroadband.com/top-up