What is the grant?
This is an exclusive grant that's available to communities whose Openreach co-funded fibre infrastructure serves a school that doesn't have access to fibre broadband, or has a low broadband speed (typically <24Mbps).
How do you define 'in the same community'?
The school would need to be served by the new fibre infrastructure that the community is looking to co-fund.
Are all schools included?
Yes, any school, from primary age through to the end of sixth form, whether state or independent, that falls within the community means that the community would be eligible for the grant, as long as the school doesn't have access to fibre broadband - or has a low broadband speed (typically <24Mbps). The school (or learning establishment) needs to be Ofsted registered - or registered with an equivalent body.
How do I apply for a grant?
We'll provide a template for each community lead to fill in, and send back to us – we're keeping things as simple as we can.
What's the maximum grant I can apply for?
The maximum grant is £30,000 / three quarters of the cost of your new fibre infrastructure.
Who is governing the award of the grants?
A grant body has been established with Citizens Online to assess applications, with no preference as to the type or location of community. If a school has no access to a fibre connection, or has low broadband speeds (typically <24Mbps), the community may be eligible for a grant.
How long is the grant available for?
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.
When does the school have to order fibre?
There is no obligation for the school to upgrade to fibre broadband, it's their decision.
What if the school in the community is connected via FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) but doesn't currently get superfast speeds?
If the school gets speeds of <24Mbps then we consider it eligible for the community to apply for the grant as part of their fibre solution.
My community has already got a proposal from Openreach about a Community Fibre Partnership. Can we apply for a grant retrospectively?
Yes, you can apply for a grant up until the point you have signed a contract. The £2m is a new grant fund (June 2016). There are some projects which pre-date it and will not benefit from it.
If our community has two eligible schools do we qualify for two grants?
No, only one grant per community fibre partnership is allowed, even if there is more than one eligible school in that community.