The government is to spend £67 million of taxpayers' money on a nationwide voucher scheme that will help thousands of homes and businesses get connected to full-fibre broadband.
The announcement, by Chancellor Philip Hammond today, follows on from broadband pledges made in the Spring statement on Tuesday
The Nationwide Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme will enable small businesses and homes to apply for funding from £500 up to £3,000.
The vouchers will help cover the costs of connecting premises to full-fibre broadband, as part of a government plan to boost internet infrastructure across the country.
Previously, the government pledged to invest £200 million in expanding full-fibre networks. As part of the Spring Budget, the chancellor explained that £95 million of this sum has already been allocated to 13 projects.
"We're backing Britain's small businesses by investing £67 million to bring full-fibre broadband to more businesses up and down the country," he said.
Small businesses are the backbone of the British economy and now they can turbo-charge their connectivity with gigabit speeds
"This means faster, more reliable broadband access as we build the digital infrastructure we need to make our economy fit for the future."
According to the government, next-generation connectivity "will help the country to remain productive and competitive over the long-term". It wants to create "better, higher-paying jobs in every part of the UK".
The vouchers are being delivered alongside the government's Industrial Strategy, which is aimed at accelerating growth in Britain's telecom and digital sectors.
Pilot voucher schemes have already taken place in Aberdeenshire, the West of England, Warwickshire and Yorkshire. Around 1,000 vouchers were allocated in these trials.
Successful participants in the scheme will be able to use the vouchers with a list of pre-selected vendors. It will run until March 2021, explained the government.
Digital Minister Matt Hancock added: "Small businesses are the backbone of the British economy and now they can turbo-charge their connectivity with gigabit speeds.
"By building a full fibre future for Britain we are laying the foundations for a digital infrastructure capable of delivering today what the next generation will need tomorrow."
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