Details of a voucher scheme to help ensure everyone in Scotland will have access to superfast broadband by the end of 2021 have been announced.
The Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme will provide funding of up to £5,000 to help homes and businesses not in scope of either Reaching 100% (R100) contracts or planned commercial investment to obtain superfast broadband where providers may not ordinarily go.
Interim vouchers of up to £400 are also being made available for premises where superfast broadband is planned for after the end of 2021 – with an additional £250 for those in the hardest-to-reach areas.
An online postcode checker has been launched to give homes and businesses information on superfast roll-out in their area as well as providing information on voucher scheme eligibility.
Scotland’s Connectivity Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, said:
“Digital Connectivity has played a vital role in supporting our efforts to keep people safe during the Covid-19 lockdown and will be pivotal in plans for our strategic economic recovery from the pandemic.
“Work is underway to build the infrastructure which will underpin R100, backed by Scottish Government funding of £579M. This, together with commercially-driven work, will ensure the vast majority of homes and businesses across the country can access superfast broadband access by the end of 2021.
"But Scotland has some of the most challenging locations anywhere in Europe for providing telecoms infrastructure and I have always been clear that additional measures may still be needed to provide superfast access to some of the hardest-to-reach areas.
"That is why we have been developing plans in parallel with the main infrastructure investment to ensure our 100% commitment is met, and the Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme offering a level of funding far exceeding that of any other broadband voucher scheme currently in operation within the UK, will ensure that everyone can access and benefit from this world-leading digital capability.”
The R100 online postcode tracker is live now.
The Reaching 100% (R100) programme is a commitment to provide access to superfast broadband of 30 Megabits per second (Mbps) to every home and business in Scotland.
The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) programme successfully committed to ensuring 95% of the country had access to superfast broadband by 2017, when the definition of superfast broadband was 24 Mbps.
Research found that every £1 invested in the DSSB has delivered an estimated £12 to the Scottish economy.
More information about the R100 programme can be found on the Scottish Government website.
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