Supporting the rollout of gigabit-capable broadband in rural areas
The Gigabit Voucher Scheme is a government initiative spearheaded by Building Digital UK (BDUK) that provides funding to support telecoms networks in bringing gigabit-capable broadband to hard-to-reach rural areas.
With the UK government setting a target to replace the current copper network and make gigabit-capable broadband available to 85% of the country by 2025, Freedom Fibre are actively working toward this ambition with an ethos of “connectivity for everyone,” aiming to ensure no household is left behind.
These Gigabit vouchers allow Freedom Fibre to subsidise the larger costs associated with building our full-fibre broadband network in rural areas and can only claim the funding once the property is connected and the service has gone live.
Who is eligible for a gigabit voucher?
Not every rural location in the UK is eligible for a gigabit voucher, with certain criteria needing to be met before government funding is provided. To be eligible, residents and businesses must:
Have existing broadband speeds that are less than 100MB/s.
Not be part of an area where a government-funded contract for a full-fibre network is already planned or in place.
Be in an area defined as rural by the Department for Environmental Food & Rural Affairs (DEFR)
Be part of a ‘group project,’ where a group is defined as two or more residents or businesses combining their vouchers towards the shared cost of an installation.
You can check your postcode’s eligibility for a voucher on the government’s gigabit voucher website.
With your consent, Freedom Fibre will request a voucher on your behalf.
You will receive an email from BDUK to verify your voucher. Follow the link in the email and complete the form on the government website.
Freedom Fibre connects your property to our full-fibre network. At this point we will notify BDUK that you have been connected.
You will receive another email from BDUK to confirm that your service is live and working. Follow the instructions provided to complete.
Enjoy the benefits of a lightning-fast, full-fibre broadband connection!
Why is Freedom Fibre requesting a voucher from me?
If we request a voucher from you, it means that the Department for Environmental, Food, and Rural Affairs (DERF) has classified your location as ‘rural,’ and as such there is a significant cost associated with upgrading your area to a full-fibre broadband network. The Gigabit Voucher assigned to Freedom Fibre will help subsidise some of these costs and allow us to expand to areas previously considered uneconomical.
Who are these emails coming from?
Building Digital UK (BDUK) are a subsidiary of the UK Governments Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT). All emails related to the Gigabit Voucher Scheme will come from email@example.com, be sure to check your spam folder as more often than not the emails will end up there!
Will applying for a voucher cost me any money?
Requesting and pledging a Gigabit Voucher does not cost you any money.
If I give permission for Freedom Fibre to request a voucher, will I be entering into a contract with Freedom Fibre?
Permitting for Freedom Fibre to request a voucher is not an automatic contractual commitment to Freedom Fibre or our Internet Service Provider partners.
Why am I receiving these emails from BDUK?
These emails are evidence to the government that we have made you aware of the Gigabit Voucher Scheme, that you give permission for Freedom Fibre to request these vouchers on your behalf, and that we have successfully connected your property. You have 28 days after receipt of the first email from BDUK to validate the voucher. If not validated within 28 days, the voucher will expire and Freedom Fibre may not be able to bring full-fibre to your property.
Why can’t you bring full-fibre to my property if the voucher expires?
If the voucher request expires after 28 days, BDUK classify this as either you haven’t been properly informed about the Gigabit Voucher Scheme, or that you do not agree to pledge your voucher to Freedom Fibre. So, in this case, we will not re-request the voucher as you do want to go ahead with the installation. This is why it is so important that you look out for the emails from BDUK (you may need to check the junk and spam folders in your email inbox) and follow the instructions to complete the forms as soon as possible, so there are no issues in us being able to deliver our network to your property.
What happens if I cancel my full-fibre installation?
We’re sad to see you go! If you cancel your Freedom Fibre installation, we will cancel the voucher request with BDUK so that if you change your mind again and do wish to connect to our network, we’ll be able to submit a new request with BDUK and start the process again.
WE'RE HERE TO HELP
If you have any questions regarding the benefits of full-fibre to your home or what’s involved with an install, please click here and use our form to contact our Careline Team.
For any enquiries relating to billing or to report a service fault, please contact TalkTalk’s customer service team on 0345 172 5139.