Voucher Scheme Update
The Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) Programme has been running a voucher scheme as part of its commitment to ensuring all premises have access to at least 2 Mbps. The scheme was launched in March 2016 and it offers anyone with a broadband speed of less than 2Mbps a voucher worth up to £500 towards the cost of a new broadband connection.
The scheme will close to applications on the 30th of November 2016, though voucher holders can still use their vouchers up until March 2017. Anybody who applies before this date will have the voucher processed and will be part of the system. We are receiving a large volume of applications at present and we expect this to only increase towards the end of the month; it may take us a few weeks to process all the vouchers after the 30th deadline.
Working with 18 registered suppliers voucher holders can choose between a range of solutions such as fixed wireless, mobile 4G and satellite as well as some fibre operators. These solutions will offer at least 10Mbps though some can deliver superfast speeds of 30 – 80Mbps.
How the scheme works
Residents and businesses who have slower speeds can apply through the Connecting Devon and Somerset website. Those with speeds that are confirmed as below the 2Mbps threshold and have no access to faster networks will be issued with a voucher. In some cases where there is a programme underway to connect an area the applicant will be informed that they may be able to access improved broadband through another scheme. If residents do not have sufficient internet access to apply online, paper copies of the application form can be sent. Alternatively arrangements can be made to take applications over the phone.
Once issued with a voucher code, residents and businesses are able to choose from the range of 18 suppliers registered on the scheme; in some areas, where suppliers can identify sufficient demand a whole community solution can be delivered. CDS are not able to arbitrate or be involved in any of the decisions taken by the voucher holders in their choice of supplier or engagement in a community scheme. CDS will honour the invoiced value of an individual installation up to the value of £500 and this is supplied by the providers on a monthly basis.
All applications must be completed by 30th November 2016. This will allow installations to be carried out and invoices returned and approved before the end of the financial year in March 2017.
How to access the scheme
Further details can be found on the CDS website at: www.connectingdevonandsomerset.co.uk/cds-broadband-voucher-scheme
Residents may also email firstname.lastname@example.org for information.