The Hampshire Community Broadband (HBL) fibre network is now being installed through our local area and the first connections to customers’ properties are being made. It is the aim of HBL to have completed its network roll-out predominantly by Christmas 2018 with a few remaining properties being connected in the early months of 2019.
In recent months the Government, through the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), has launched an incentive/grant scheme – the Gigabit Broadband Voucher (GBV) Scheme – to encourage companies such as HBL to provide a broadband service with speeds of up to a Gigabit per second (1,000 Mbps), but for at least 100 Mbps, predominantly to small or medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in their local areas. Households are also able to benefit from this scheme but to a lesser extent and only if there are sufficient businesses participating.
HBL wants to take advantage of this scheme to benefit its customers and itself. Through our partner company, Fibre Options Limited (FOL), our project is now successfully registered under the scheme. For further details of the GBV Scheme, see https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/.
Under our registration for the scheme, SMEs and private households can benefit to the tune of, respectively, £2,200 and £500 (excluding VAT) in respect of the costs relating to getting connected. As with any grant scheme, to gain the benefits certain steps must be complied with.
An outline of the journey from order to being connected is given in the following document 'The Journey PDF'. Each stage is explained in more detail thereafter.