Households with poor broadband speeds to get new £1,500 voucher to help install faster internet

HOUSEHOLDS with poor broadband speeds are set to get vouchers worth £1,500 each to help install faster internet.

The cash will be available through the government's Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme.

The scheme first rolled out in March 2018, but it's being relaunched next month to give households in rural areas extra financial support.

So far more than 66,000 vouchers worth up to £127million have been issued to premises across the UK.

The new vouchers, worth up to £1,500 for homes and up to £3,500 for businesses, will be available from April 8.

The investment boost is part of the government's Project Gigabit, which is a £5billion infrastructure project.

Who’s eligible for the vouchers?

HOMES and businesses in rural locations which meet the below criteria can get the vouchers to help install faster internet.

  • Existing broadband speeds are less than 100Mbps
  • A gigabit capable network isn’t likely to be built to that area commercially in the near future
  • There is no government-funded contract planned or in place to improve the network already

To qualify, you also need to be part of a group project of two or more homes and/or businesses who will combine their vouchers towards the shared cost of installation.

Sadly, single connections aren't eligible for the scheme.

Your new connection speed must then reach:

  • At least double your existing speed if your current speed is less than 50Mbps
  • At least 100Mbps if your current speed is more than 50Mbps

A gigabit is 1,000 megabits, capable of downloading an an Ultra High Definition 4K film (20GB) in less than three minutes.

It comes as the coronavirus pandemic has forced millions of Brits to work from home, leaving them reliant on home broadband.

The Gigabit vouchers will only be available through a supplier that is registered with the scheme.

The government said it'll share details about registered suppliers and more information next month.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "Project Gigabit is the rocket boost that we need to get lightning-fast broadband to all areas of the country.

"This broadband revolution will fire up people’s businesses and homes, and the vital public services that we all rely on, so we can continue to level up and build back better from this pandemic."

Tips for speeding up your internet

IF you’re struggling with slow broadband, it could be worth trying out the following:

  • Try not to place your WiFi router near lamps or microwaves as they transmit their own wavelengths and can disrupt the signal.
  • Creating a WiFi password or changing it if you think people outside of your household know it means you can control how many devices are being connected.
  • If you put your router near a window then some of the signal will be sent outside and therefore won't be as strong in the centre of the building. Instead try placing your router in a central location.
  • Putting your router high up on a shelf can help too.

As many as 510,000 homes and firms long plagued by poor broadband will get subsidies as part of Project Gigabit.

The government are also in talks with Elon Musk about helping to fix broadband for remote areas by using his satellite network.

It's also looking at floating air balloon aerials to connect 100,000 homes to new lightning-fast infrastructure.

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