Grants are available to help co fund your community fibre. For example, some communities have used grants from wind farms, Calor Gas, BT Group and also the Government.
In November, the Government launched a Gigabit Voucher Scheme to give grants of up to £3,000 for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to get ultrafast broadband. IF you're an SME or if there's one in your community, see if you're eligible to apply.
BT Group has dedicated £2m to award as grants to communities with a school to enable super-fast access in the classroom as well as at home and in the community. Communities in the UK not covered by fibre broadband rollout plans can apply for a grant to cover three quarters of the cost of the new fibre infrastructure, up to £30,000, if that new infrastructure serves the local school and is delivered by Openreach. So, for example, if the cost for a so called 'gap-funded' solution that serves a school has been quoted as £40,000, the community would pay £10,000 and £30,000 would be funded from the grant.
BT Group grant information:
- Eligibility: the grant is available to UK communities where their Openreach proposal for a new co-funded fibre infrastructure serves a school that doesn't have access to superfast fibre broadband (typically <24Mbps)
- Level of award: up to £30,000 (an increase from 1st July 2017 from what was previously up to £20,000 match-funded.)
- Level of award: the grant will cover three quarters of the cost of the new fibre infrastructure, up to £30,000. So for example, if the cost for a gap funded solution that serves a school has been quoted as £40,000, the community would pay £10,000 and £30,000 would be funded from the grant.
- Period of award: Grants are made subject to a contract being signed within three months of the date of the offer letter.
- Running time: The grant is open for applications from 28 June 2016 to the point that the £2m fund has been exhausted. Grants are conditional on the community raising all of their required funding for their fibre solution.
- Grants will be made on a 'first come, first served' basis until the funding is exhausted.
Read more about fibre partnerships for communities with schools.