The government's Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has a Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme to help fund gigabit-capable connectivity in rural areas.

This scheme is temporarily paused in Dorset but when it resumes, it will aim to help small and medium sized businesses and residential homes that are not currently due to receive a future-proof gigabit-capable broadband connection.

It is for premises in rural areas that currently receive broadband speeds of less than 100 megabits per second (mbps), and are not in any full-fibre broadband roll-out plans.

Under the government scheme, residents and businesses can claim up to £4,500 towards a gigabit-capable (1,000mbps) broadband connection.


You may be eligible if you are:

  • in a location which is rural (as defined by the Office for National Statistics) and with broadband speeds of less than 100Mbps
  • not in any commercial or government plans for gigabit-capable broadband

Check if you're eligible on GOV.UK

How to register

Follow these steps to get a voucher towards your gigabit capable connection:

  1. Find a supplier from the government’s approved list and register for a gigabit capable connection. The supplier will check if the scheme is suited to you and your neighbours. View a list of suppliers in your area on GOV.UK.
  2. Engage with your neighbours. Voucher funding will only be released when at least 2 households and/or businesses in an area apply. The more people in your area who register for vouchers, the more funding there will be available to cover the costs of installation.
  3. Check how suppliers work with the voucher scheme. Each supplier has its own way of operating. Some suppliers require individuals to register with them and when they have enough interest in an area they will apply for the vouchers. While other suppliers ask for an individual to submit a list of premises that would like to register before costing a scheme to see if it can be covered by voucher funding.
  4. After registration, and if the community is happy to go-ahead with a scheme, the supplier will request voucher funding from the government. The government will check you are happy to go ahead by email.
  5. Your supplier gets to work to deliver your new connection.
  6. Connected! Your supplier lets government know the work is done.
  7. Government checks with you by email that the service is live and working.
  8. Government will sometimes make further checks before they pay your supplier.

View the voucher scheme terms and conditions.

Speeds of less than 10mbps

You could be entitled to help from the BT and OFCOM Universal Service Obligation if you receive speeds of less than 10mbps. This offers either a 4G Home Hub solution, if suitable, or a subsidy of £3,400 towards gigabit capable connections.

Find out more about the Universal Service Obligation and make a request.

Case study

Find out how one Dorset community joined forces to bring a voucher-funded broadband scheme to their village.