Rural broadband boost for West Sussex homes and businesses

Residents and small and medium-sized businesses in rural areas of West Sussex can now benefit from the fastest and most reliable broadband connectivity.

Tuesday, 30th June 2020, 3:29 pm
Gigabit broadband offers much faster internet speeds

Thanks to collaboration between the county’s local authorities, more money is now available to pay for gigabit-capable broadband connectivity through the Government’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme.

County, district and borough councils in West Sussex have worked together to jointly invest in topping up the Government scheme to enable it to go further for residents and businesses. Now rural eligible premises can claim up to £4,000 each towards the installation cost of gigabit-capable broadband, when part of a group of premises.

Gigabit-capable broadband enables internet download speeds of up 1,000 megabits per second (mbps), much faster than current superfast speeds of 30 mbps. This next-generation connectivity has the potential to revolutionise rural communities, making them more attractive places to live, giving people the freedom to live and work more flexibly and helping develop thriving digital economies.

Welcoming the additional funding, Bob Lanzer, West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for economy and corporate performance, said: “We are going further and doing more for rural eligible communities who can face increased challenges in receiving broadband infrastructure and coverage. We are pleased to introduce this additional funding at a time when having fast and reliable broadband has never been more important to the health and wellbeing of our communities and the productivity and growth of our economy.

“Gigabit capable infrastructure enables the user to achieve up to 1,000 megabits per second (mbps) download speeds. It is a generational leap forward in speeds and is future ready. Not only is gigabit-capable broadband faster but it also provides users with a reliable connection.”

He added: “By topping up the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme West Sussex councils are delivering on our ambition to make West Sussex a leading area for digital investment, innovation and expansion. We are keen that as many people as possible benefit and can provide help and assistance with making an application to the scheme.”

The extra funding will mean that customers will be able to use the voucher to pay for up to £4,000 of installation costs when they get a connection from a supplier that is registered on the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme. In most cases, the voucher fully covers the installation costs and the resident or business will only need to pay for the ongoing broadband connection package.

The deadline to apply for a voucher is March 31, 2021. For more information and to check eligibility visit the DCMS website or contact [email protected] for more information, help and assistance.

More than £1million of extra broadband connectivity has been achieved in the county via the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, benefiting more than 400 households and businesses to date.

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