Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) Broadband Voucher programme targets people with speeds of 2Mbps or less
Connection vouchers worth up to £500 are now available to residents and businesses across Devon and Somerset. The vouchers will cover the cost of connecting to an improved broadband service to boost broadband speeds from 2Mbps, or under, to a minimum of 10Mbps.
The scheme will provide a subsidy of up to £500, in the form of a voucher code, to fund the installation of a new broadband connection which will be available for at least the next twelve months. Eligible residents and businesses that are in receipt of a voucher code can choose to redeem the voucher with one of the suppliers listed on the Connecting Devon and Somerset website, with every solution guaranteeing a minimum of 10Mbps download speed.
To date, over 260 residents and businesses have applied for vouchers, with the number increasing every day. Seven broadband suppliers are currently registered on the CDS scheme offering a variety of technology solutions including fibre to the home, wireless and satellite. CDS are in discussions with other suppliers, so it’s possible that even more suppliers will eventually join the scheme offering residents and businesses even more choice. Residents and businesses in receipt of a voucher will still be entitled to a superfast broadband connection under phase 2 of the CDS programme – a procurement process for which is expected to launch in the summer.
David Hall: “This voucher scheme offers residents and businesses yet to benefit from the CDS Programme immediate access to improved broadband. The benefits will be felt across both Devon and Somerset and offers residents and businesses on some of the slowest connections a real boost in speeds. We’ve been working hard to overcome the challenges of connecting rural areas and this scheme is the product of feedback and extensive engagement with suppliers.
“Based on this, a panel of suppliers has already been put in place, and more will be added as and when is necessary. We will ensure that the Voucher Scheme operates as efficiently as possible for both the supplier and consumer, as part of our commitment to provide consumers with the choice and excellent broadband provision that they deserve.”
Andrew Leadbetter said: “The average UK business will need 10 times their current bandwidth within the next five years. This means that high speed broadband is becoming an absolute necessity for businesses. Support for SME businesses across Devon and Somerset is welcome and will help significantly improve productivity and competitiveness, in turn helping to grow the local economy.
“Our aim is to ensure that everyone in the Programme Area has a range of good quality providers to choose from and we don’t want anyone to be forgotten. We would encourage everyone that is eligible to visit the website and apply for their voucher.”
David Hennell, Business Development Director at Satellite Internet said: “We have been working closely with CDS for a couple of years and we are delighted to be working with CDS on their Basic Broadband scheme. Satellite Internet is offering broadband over a satellite connection, providing fast and robust connectivity to those hardest-to-reach properties that simply can’t be serviced by any other means.
We are involved in several broadband rollout schemes in the UK and we find reassuring that CDS has examined existing schemes, adopted the best parts and further improved upon them by creating its own program. The CDS’s program offers the best value for money solutions to broadband-starved residents within the two counties and thus delivers the most cost-effective expenditure of public funds. We are already dealing with a fast-growing number of enquiries across the two counties.
To apply for the voucher please visit the website: http://www.connectingdevonandsomerset.co.uk/cds-broadband-voucher-scheme/