Connection Vouchers Scheme
Scheme now closed
The Government’s Broadband Connection Voucher Scheme ran from December 2013 until October 2015. From April 2015, the scheme was funded by a £40m Government challenge fund. This fund was fully committed by October 2015. Any vouchers not connected by 30 September 2016 expired.
An archive of the Scheme site may be found at the The National Archives.
For more information about Government’s work to support broadband across the UK see information about Broadband Delivery UK.
Other support for business can be found at GOV.UK
Key Facts about Connection Vouchers
- Around 55,000 vouchers for superfast broadband connections were issued to SMEs during the lifetime of the scheme - 37,000 since April 2015
- More than 770 suppliers won voucher business out of 864 registered suppliers
Early Impacts & Data Analysis
SME Survey Results
- Over 550 SMEs with connections live for between 3 and 9 months replied to BDUK surveys on the initial impacts of using a connection voucher
- The results show that firms are using the internet more and using it for functions they were not using before. The biggest changes are to uploading/downloading large files, remote access/Virtual Private Networks and Cloud Computing
- As a result, firms reported a wide range of impacts with many seeing improvements in efficiency and effectiveness of employees, as well as improvements in the speed and reliability of delivering goods/services
- The results suggest that soon after the connection has been made businesses profits increased by £1,300 per year per SME and the equivalent of 0.27 extra full time employees per firm, or one new job for every four connections
- This equates to a return on investment of over £5 for every £1 that the Government is investing through this scheme
- Firms reported that faster broadband makes a huge difference to their business:
- 86% of firms reported that their broadband upgrade had increased their employees’ effectiveness;
- 83% reported improved efficiency of business administration;
- almost 70% reported increased speed and reliability of delivering goods or services;
- 45% reported that their upgrade had improved their ability to develop new goods or services; and
- over 35% reported that their upgrade has generated new sales and provided access to new markets.
BDUK Data Analysis
Based on the 50,700 vouchers that were reported by cities as having been issued up to the end of September 15
- Up to 1 million people are estimated to work for businesses that have had broadband connection voucher grants approved
- SMEs took broadband services that are on average 11 times faster than their previous service
- Nearly 30% of firms took uncontended services (not shared with other customers) with guaranteed up and download speeds
- Over a fifth opted for ultrafast broadband with download speeds of 100 Mbps or more
- The 3 largest national suppliers registered on the scheme – BT, Virgin Media and TalkTalk – accounted for 14% of the value of vouchers issued to the end of September.
- Other suppliers, including smaller regional and local suppliers, took 86% of the total value of the vouchers.
- Some suppliers have extended their existing networks and built in new areas, for instance Metronet extended its Birmingham and Leeds networks, and built new networks in Newcastle and Bradford.