DCMS Funding & The Gigabit Voucher Scheme

Help secure funding for the installation of the B4RN network in Halton.

The Funding Programme.

The Government Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has accepted a proposal for Halton from B4RN. The funding is provided under the new Rural Gigabit Connectivity Programme (RGC) rules that came into force in May 2020.

The RGC programme aims to assist Building Digital UK (BDUK), which is part of the DCMS. This programme aims to deliver more gigabit-capable connections in locations that are unlikely to benefit from commercial investment by 2033.

How it works.

The Government will pay £1500 (£3500 for a registered business) for each residential property that goes live on the network. This funding is capped by DCMS at £768,747.

B4RN’s estimate the build cost for Halton at £773,762. B4RN would have to make the initial investment in Halton, then recoup the money back from the Gigabit Vouchers as each residence becomes live on the network.

Tom Hurst from B4RN commented, “Contractors have been identified and will be appointed to build the whole village if there is enough demand to make the build financially viable. We estimate it would take a 5 man team 1 year to build the whole village. So 1 year is the current goal, but we hope to reduce this time frame by attracting more contractors during the build”.

To move forward, we need to show that there is enough demand to make the build financially viable for B4RN to invest the initial sum. To achieve enough £1500 & £3500 vouchers coming back to B4RN as connections ‘go-live,’ we would require 50% of the village to show an interest. That’s 500 residences with approximately 1-in-10 vouchers coming from a business: anything less and the shortfall in funding increases.

How you help secure funding

To claim this grant, we require householders to register interest via form on the B4RN website at https://b4rn.org.uk/postcode-checker/

1) Simply, enter your postcode and submit, then

2) Complete the Gigabit Voucher Request Form at the bottom of the page.

Above the form, there is handy information about the scheme. However, the important part is completing and submitting the form below the information.

Please share this information and get friends and neighbours to sign up  using the link above.

Important Information below

B4RN do have initial contract lengths. Each of their services, residential or business, operate on an initial 12-month contract. However, there are no Exit Fees.

The funding from the DCMS stipulates that (whoever the provider is, BT, Virgin Media, etc.) the household applying for the Gigabit Voucher must be acquired on a 12-month contract. No contract, No Funding.

So, if you are in Halton and applying for B4RN through DCMS funding, technically you will be under a 12-month contract. The contract you have with B4RN will have NO exits fees or minimum period higher than 1-month notice.

Main points from The B4RN contract below:
4. The minimum period of the contract is one year from the live date, but there is no early exit penalty.
5. After one year the contract will automatically renew for a one-month period on a monthly basis unless notified as per point 6 and 7 below.
6. Your contract can be terminated by giving B4RN one month’s notice in writing.

(taken from https://b4rn.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Contract-Pack.pdf)

In effect, you have a 12-month contract that you can leave at no cost to you.
It is also important to note that by filling in the form at the ‘Get B4RN’ you have not committed to anything. You are, at this moment, showing an intention to make a connection in the future.

You are free to change your mind with no obligation or penalty after you complete the form.