Home » Help » How to claim under the Better Broadband Scheme

How to claim under the Better Broadband Scheme

How to claim under the Better Broadband Scheme

Monday, 4 February, 2019

If you live in one of the UK’s major cities, it’s generally possible to take dependable (and reasonably fast) broadband for granted.

Barring unreliable service or technical faults involving your property, urban residents tend to enjoy a choice of cable and line-based internet services.

Sadly, that’s not always the case for residents of rural areas.

If you live in a castle on a private island (or if you’re more than ten miles from the nearest branch of Costa), dependable high-speed broadband might seem like an unattainable luxury.

Fortunately, State support is on hand, through the inelegantly-titled Better Broadband Scheme.

Better by design

The Better Broadband Scheme was launched in 2015 by the UK Government, offering financial assistance with broadband connectivity for homes and businesses in remote areas.

The word “adequate” is defined here as in excess of 2Mbps – which might be sufficient for web browsing but certainly wouldn’t support gaming or even standard definition streaming.

It also excludes properties which are scheduled to receive superfast broadband through Openreach’s schedule of works in the next year, or homes with satellite broadband.

Owner-occupiers won’t need to pay more than £400 to access a basic broadband package over a twelve-month period, including those all-important installation costs.

These often involve a grant of comparable value, which can be put towards fixed-line fibre, wireless internet or even satellite broadband services.

A limited number of suppliers are signed up to the Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme, including BT, though specific parts of the UK may further reduce your choice of supplier.

Into extra time

The Better Broadband Scheme was initially scheduled to end in 2017.

Having already received a one-year stay of execution, history repeated itself last December when the Government confirmed this scheme will remain active until December 31st 2019.

In a way, these extensions highlight a collective failure among the public and private sectors to address the imbalance between broadband investment in our cities and in the countryside.

However, the £2.4 million allocated to rural dwellings in 2019 will certainly make a difference, with 40,000 grants already allocated through this pioneering scheme.

And while signing up won’t give rural homes or businesses unfettered access to the information superhighway, it’ll at least get them off the hard shoulder.

For entrepreneurs, home workers and the geographically isolated, that’s a hugely appealing prospect.

How can I apply?

If you’re reading this from a windswept bothy using a dial-up connection, your first port of call should be the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport website.

Their Get Better Connected page supports applications, and can be reached here. At the time of writing, the site is due to be relaunched any day.

You’ll need to submit some basic information about your application, but the scheme has been designed to avoid baffling people with overly technical instructions or requirements.

Neil Cumins author picture

By:

Neil is our resident tech expert. He's written guides on loads of broadband head-scratchers and is determined to solve all your technology problems!

News What's the story?

Keep up with the latest developments in UK broadband.

The biggest malware threats of 2020…so far

It’s been a year few of us will forget in a hurry, and we're only halfway through.

The biggest malware threats of 2020…so farThe biggest malware threats of 2020…so far Read more

Instagram could become the main news source for young people.

Reuters finds changes in the way younger users consume the news.

Read more

BT launches second line service

BT launches second broadband home line service for the new crop of home workers.

Read more

Best broadband areas for online gaming in the UK.

Read more

Help Learn with us

Make the most of the internet with our broadband library.

How to check if your broadband is down

It might seem obvious that an outage has occurred, but there are easy ways to check if your broadband is down, or whether the problem is more localised

How to check if your broadband is downHow to check if your broadband is down Read more

A guide to Big Tech alternatives.

It seems like we’re reliant on a small group of companies, are there alternatives?

Read more

Quick tips for boosting home broadband speed

Boosting speed can transform activities like streaming, gaming and accessing cloud storage

Read more

What’s the difference between hardware, firmware and software?

Read more