If you are not currently in our plans to get access to a fibre broadband service or you are in one of the later delivery phases and you currently receive less than 2Mbps, then the national better broadband scheme might be an option for you.
What is the Scheme?
The Scheme, which is open until December 2017, has been developed by the UK government to ensure that every household and business in the UK can access an affordable basic broadband service.
An affordable service is one that costs no more than £400 a year including installation, equipment and monthly fee.
The Better Broadband Scheme is managed by Local Broadband Programmes in partnership with The Department for Culture, Media and Sport and is jointly funded.
Eligibility at a glance
To be eligible for the scheme the following needs to apply:
If you are going to benefit sooner than 12 months you are not eligible for the scheme as there are strict rules around spending public funding to support the delivery of broadband services. The government cannot publicly fund two solutions to the same property within the same 12 months.
What do I get if I am eligible?
You can get help with the cost of installation and any equipment you need to access a basic broadband service at an affordable price.
What costs aren’t covered?
The scheme does not cover the cost of monthly subscriptions. Monthly fees vary depending on the amount of data and speed of broadband connection you choose.
What quality of broadband can I expect to receive from the Scheme?
This will depend on a number of factors including the type of broadband package you choose to buy and whether you decide to take up a satellite or a wireless broadband service.
Satellite broadband can deliver speeds of 10Mbps (or significantly more) but the speed is not guaranteed throughout the day and packages usually have monthly data caps. You will need to consider how much data you are likely to require and the monthly costs of different packages. Some satellite packages allow you to transfer data overnight without adding to the monthly costs. You will also experience a short time delay with satellite broadband as the broadband signal has to travel to the satellite and back to Earth. This may take a bit of getting used to.
Wireless broadband performs in a similar way to broadband delivered over the telephone network but the quality of the service will vary dependent on the product selected. Wireless broadband is only available in certain parts of the country.
Can the subsidy be used to support fibre broadband?
One of the suppliers offering services through the scheme is BT, via its Community Fibre Partnerships scheme. The subsidy can be used to support coverage delivered through this project which has to be ready to go live at the time when the eligibility code is claimed. This is to ensure that access is provided in a timely way to an improved service.
Do I have to take out a contract?
Yes. You are required to sign a contract with your chosen supplier for a minimum of 12 months. If you want to terminate within the first year you may have to pay a termination fee and repay the subsidy you have benefitted from.
What are the alternatives if my broadband speed is less than 2 Mbps?
You can look at getting a basic broadband service from other suppliers. Information on available operators and network providers can be found by searching online.
You may also be able to get a basic broadband service from a 4G mobile broadband supplier. Check current availability by using the Ofcom mobile coverage checker.