Are You Eligible For Government Broadband Grants?

Are You Eligible For Government Broadband Grants?

A fast and reliable broadband connection is vital for both homes and businesses to effectively function, and the UK Government has decided to take steps to make sure that everyone in the country has access to this service.

For most people, this has come in the form of the fibre optic broadband rollout, which now means over 90% of people in the UK can get access to high speed broadband. However, there is still a small minority who still can’t get access to these high speeds. These unlucky few are mostly located in remote or rural areas, where building the necessary infrastructure isn’t financially viable.

To make up for this lack of connectivity, the government has introduced the ABC scheme and the Rural Gigabit Voucher scheme to help those in rural areas get access to much needed high speed broadband.

What is the ABC Grant?

Put into place by the Welsh Assembly and delivered by the Access Broadband Cymru Scheme (ABC), the ABC grant has been designed to make sure all homes and businesses in Wales have access to a high speed 4G broadband service. The grant is designed to cover the cost of getting a fast 4G service to your property, meaning that it will cover all upfront costs for equipment installation and activation, which normally costs £399.99.

After this, you’ll pay the usual monthly service charge with your chosen provider.

What is the Rural Gigabit Voucher Scheme?

In a similar scheme to the ABC scheme, the government has introduced the Rural Gigabit Voucher Scheme to help those in rural areas without access to high speed broadband speeds cover the cost of installing gigabit broadband, i.e. speeds of up to 1Gb.

Who’s eligible for the ABC Grant?

Anyone who has a home or business in Wales that can’t get access to superfast broadband speeds (classed as 24Mbps and over) will be eligible to receive the grant, regardless of whether they live in Cardiff city centre or a remote property in Brecon Beacons.

Who’s eligible for the Rural Gigabit Voucher Scheme?

If your home is experiencing broadband speeds of less than 100Mbps, isn’t likely to have a gigabit network built in the area in the near future, and you’re not already benefiting from another government scheme to improve your broadband, you should be eligible to receive a voucher. It’s worth knowing that in order to qualify, it’s vital that you apply as part of a group project. This means that you and at least one of your neighbours and/or businesses combine your vouchers towards the shared cost of installation.

For businesses, you’ll also have to prove that your business classes as a small or medium sized business (SME).

In terms of location, the scheme is designed to help anyone living in the UK. However, everyone living in any city or town in the UK will either already be able to access a high speed internet service, or be on the rollout plan to do so in the next few years. This leaves those who live in more rural areas, and these are the people that the scheme is set to help.

How do I find out if I’m eligible for the ABC Grant?

First, you need to check if your property can already receive a superfast broadband service. You can do this on the Welsh Government website. If you’re not able to access high speed broadband, you can visit the ABC Scheme page for Homes and Businesses to get all the information you need. You’ll also be able to download an application form.

Alternatively, you can get in touch with us at Dyfed, and we’ll help you apply for the grant and get it approved.

How do I find out if I’m eligible for the Rural Gigabit Voucher?

Checking if you’re eligible for the Rural Gigabit Voucher is slightly easier, and simply requires you to use the postcode checker here.

What is 4G Broadband?

4G broadband is a wireless service that gives you access to the internet. This makes it an easy to access service for those in the UK who don’t have the nearby infrastructure that many wired services, such as optic fibre, will require. This also typically makes it well suited for homes and businesses situated in rural areas.

4G speeds can vary greatly depending on your location, but typical speeds are around 25 Mbps for downloads.

What is a Gigabit connection?

A Gigabit connection is a broadband service that gives you access to speeds of one gigabit. A gigabit (or gb), is equivalent to 1000 megabits (or mb). For reference, a broadband service that uses older technology, such as ADSL, may typically only provide you with speeds of 12mb.

Which is better, the ABC voucher or the Gigabit voucher?

There’s no simple answer for this, as it will depend entirely on each person’s individual circumstances. Both vouchers are designed to help you get access to high speed internet, but one may meet your needs better than the other.

Firstly, it’s important to remember that the ABC voucher is only available to those in Wales. Secondly, the ABC voucher is designed to provide you with a 4G wireless broadband service, whereas the Gigabit will provide you with a wired service. The importance of this is that while the Gigabit is likely to provide you the faster service, it’s not as easy to set up. What’s more, the Gigabit voucher might require more effort to apply to, as it requires you to apply as part of a group project.

On the other hand, a 4G broadband service is much easier to set up, although your internet speeds likely won’t match what a Gigabit connection could provide you.

If you have any questions on which grant would be better suited to you, you can get in touch with us and we’ll help in any way we can.