News

Connected Southwark - Gigabit voucher scheme

Connected Southwark – Gigabit voucher scheme

Many businesses in SE16 understand how frustrating can be to run a business in the 21st century when your internet connection still feels like the early years of dial-up. That can be something of the past thanks to Connected Southwark and the Gigabit voucher scheme available to improve Southwark businesses’ broadband speeds. We replicate here the text from the official notification from Southwark Council. If you are interested in applying, please contact better.broadband@southwark.gov.uk


We sent out surveys in January 2018 asking if you could support Southwark’s bid for funding to improve broadband and we’re pleased to announce we were part of the successful £8.5m pan-London bid for central Government funding. Part of this fund will go towards building two full-fibre broadband networks across Bermondsey and the Rotherhithe peninsula which is notorious for poor broadband connectivity and we are currently in the planning phases of this work with the GLA and other partners.

Thank you for your contribution to our bid, it received an immense amount of support from residents, businesses and grass root groups who are all keen to see connectivity improvements in Southwark and we are excited to share what we’ve been working on our journey to becoming a Connected Southwark.

Southwark’s short, medium & long term connectivity efforts

Short-term solutions, at the end of 2017 the council signed lease agreements to install wireless broadband (Wi-Fi) aerials on the rooftops of a selection of the council’s social housing blocks. Operated by broadband provider Relish, and capable of delivering superfast (in excess of 24Mbps) speeds, many of these block are now live and providing broadband to the local area.
In the medium-term, the council signed a non-exclusive agreement with two full-fibre broadband providers who are rolling-out ultrafast full-fibre broadband across our council-owned properties. This work which is currently underway will connect thousands of council properties over the next year.
Over the longer-term, the council is exploring the potential of innovative technologies in tackling connectivity and other priorities. This includes technology such as 5G and IoT, the next generation of connectivity, which may – once developed further – offer solutions regarding broadband connectivity.
Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport’s (DCMS) Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme

The Gigabit Broadband Voucher scheme is a central government scheme which provides funding to businesses (and residents but only as part of a joint bid with a business) to subsidise ultrafast connections to their business. The Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme is part of the Local Full Fibre Networks programme which has a strategic objective of increasing full fibre coverage across the UK. The scheme run by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) was announced in March 2018 and has £67m dedicated to it until March 2021 or whenever the vouchers finish.

Benefits of full fibre broadband to businesses

Whether it’s for entertainment, learning or business, our need for fast connections is crucial. Full-fibre broadband provides ‘gigabit-capable’ broadband connections. Gigabit connections (with a download speed of 1000Mbps) are faster and more reliable and open up a range of benefits as we increase our use of online services. Businesses will have the ability to download and upload digital files in seconds rather than hours. Studies have shown that SMEs that are active online are more successful and able to reach a wider market without the geographic barrier. Faster internet speeds will also enable home working and open up convenient and low-cost communication channels which breaks down geographical distances.

How to apply for the Gigabit Broadband Voucher funding

You can find out if you’re eligible here. If you are eligible you can register your interest with a supplier in your area who will request the voucher from DCMS to make the connection. Once DCMS are happy that the connection is up and running, the supplier will be paid the voucher value.
The vouchers are in limited supply and are running out fast so apply quickly to benefit from this scheme.

Further Information

You can find out more information on our dedicated campaign website and read more about the scheme here
For broadband queries, please contact us on better.broadband@southwark.gov.uk

Kind regards,
The Better Broadband Team

Posted in Business NewsTagged , ,
%d bloggers like this: