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200730 | RURAL residents and small businesses offered vouchers of up to £3500 to get faster and more reliable internet


Broadband upgrade scheme for rural areas launches

Thursday, 30 July 2020 - Technology



RURAL residents and small businesses are being offered vouchers of up to £3500 to get a faster and more reliable internet connection.

The government’s Broadband Upgrade Fund campaign launches in Cornwall today.

People living and working in areas with broadband speed of less than 100Mbps are urged to register on the Government website and apply for vouchers. The vouchers can then be pooled with others in the same community and cashed in with a supplier to be offset against the cost of installing the improved infrastructure.

During lockdown over half of respondents to a survey carried out in Cornwall worked from home, but over a third (34%) said they would be able to do their job better if they had a faster internet connection at home. One in five (19%) said the quality of their video calls whilst working from home were ‘frequently poor’ and 21% have struggled to join or dropped out of virtual meetings.

Under the Broadband Upgrade Fund, residents can claim up to £1,500 and small to medium sized businesses up to £3,500 to upgrade to gigabit broadband, which is capable of download speeds of 1 gigabit (1000 megabits) per second and is much faster than the current speeds experienced across Cornwall.

’Upgrading to gigabit broadband will mean homes and businesses in Cornwall will have the world-class, future-proof and reliable internet connections they need to keep pace with new advances in technology, and the jobs and growth that comes with it, in the decades to come,’ said a spokesperson.

Registration for the scheme is open until 30 September 2020.

Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman said: ’Better broadband enhances people’s lives and the government is making it easier for rural communities in Cornwall to access the economic and social benefits of gigabit-capable broadband.

’Those suffering with slow internet speeds can receive a significant contribution towards the costs of getting quicker and more reliable internet connections into their homes or businesses through this initiative.’

’I urge people to sign up to find out if they’re eligible for this next-generation broadband boost.’

Dominic Fairman is a Cornwall Councillor who runs a farm and campsite on Bodmin Moor, and he has recently benefited from the scheme. He said: ’The difference that this has made to our lives has been incredible. Of the 5,000 people who work for Cornwall Council, around 4,000 have been working from home during the pandemic so it has really brought home to us how important it is to have reliable connectivity these days. I will certainly be recommending this scheme to other communities in my parishes.’

To find out more and sign up or to read case studies of people that have benefitted from the scheme, rural residents and SMEs should visit: