WHY CAN'T I GET A GIGABIT SERVICE
The Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review identified that approximately 20% of the country is unlikely to be commercially viable for gigabit-capable network rollout within a reasonable time frame. The government is therefore ensuring that delivery to these harder to reach parts of the UK takes place in parallel with commercial build. The government wants to ensure that all areas of the country have access to gigabit-capable broadband as soon as possible.
Building Digital UK are working with industry to target a minimum of 85% gigabit-capable coverage by 2025 but will seek to accelerate rollout further to get as close to 100% as soon as possible. The government are investing £5 billion of subsidy to support the deployment of gigabit broadband in the hardest-to-reach areas of the country.
Broadband Gigabit Voucher Scheme
As part of the government’s UK Gigabit programme, businesses and residents in some of the hardest-to-reach places in the UK are eligible for additional funding towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband to their premises when part of a group project.
Rural premises, experiencing speeds below 100 Megabits per second (Mbps), will be eligible for between up to £3,500 per small and medium-sized businesses (SME) and up to £1,500 per residential property to support the cost of installing new gigabit-capable connections.
The Broadband Gigabit Voucher Scheme is currently paused in Staffordshire whilst the Project Gigabit procurement takes place.
Universal Service Obligation
If you can’t get a download speed of 10mbps and an upload speed of 1mbps, you can request an upgraded connection. You can make this request to BT and you do not need to be an existing customer of BT to apply.
Mobile can offer another source of connectivity. You can use a mobile phone, tablet or iPad to connect to 3G, 4G and 5G by using a SIM card provided by a mobile provider.
Many providers offer packages for mobile broadband that will often include a larger data package along with the hardware required such as a dongle or 4G router. You can ask your current broadband or mobile phone provider for the mobile broadband subscriptions they offer. You can also use comparison websites to find the best deal for you.
What If I Can't Afford a Service?
The National Databank provides free SIM cards and mobile data (as well as talk minutes and texts) to people in need via Good Things Foundation’s network of local community partners. It’s like a ‘food bank’ but for internet connectivity data. Community organisations can apply to access the databank, enabling them to provide data to people in their communities who need it. Find out more here
If you are on a reduced income or on benefits, some broadband and mobile suppliers offer reduced price packages. You can find out more here.