The Government's Better Broadband Scheme
The Government's Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme has been developed by the Government to provide access to a subsidised broadband installation to homes and businesses that are unable to access a broadband service with a download speed of at least 2Mb per second and who will not benefit from the superfast broadband roll out.
If you currently experience poor broadband speeds, or are unable to obtain an affordable broadband service at all, the scheme will provide you with access to a basic broadband service that will offer speeds of at least 2 Mb per second.
You will be able to choose from a range of services from the registered providers, including options that provide speeds significantly greater than 2Mbps.
This scheme is available to properties located in Kent and Medway and is for properties that can't access at least a 2Mbps download speed.
Follow the steps below to take advantage of the scheme:
- Check you meet the eligibility criteria
- If you meet the eligibility criteria, complete our online application form
- If you are accepted, you will receive a unique code by email
- Use the code with selected service providers to get a subsidised broadband service.
- Place an order and enter into a contract for a broadband service for a minimum period of 12 months.
Broadband Delivery UK has set the following eligibility criteria.
You must meet this criteria before applying for this scheme:
- The property must be in the Kent County Council or Medway Council area.
- You must not be capable of receiving a broadband connection speed of more than 2Mbps from the BT Openreach network. You can check this on the BT speed checker.
- There are no alternative affordable broadband services available to you, which you would provide a download speed of at least 2Mbps.
- A unique code from the scheme must not have already been redeemed for the property.
- There are no plans to provide superfast broadband to your location within 12 months of your application (we will advise whether this is an issue with assessing your application).
What the unique code will cover
The Government have designed the Better Broadband Scheme to ensure that no household or business will need to pay more than £400, to access a basic broadband service over a 12 month period.
Households and businesses that are eligible to take advantage of the scheme will be provided with a unique code. The code will cover most of the cost of the installation and commissioning of a basic broadband service, including necessary equipment.
The unique code will reduce the total installation cost by up to £350.
The code does not have a specific fixed value, but when used to obtain a satellite or wireless broadband service from one of the selected retail service providers, the use of the code will reduce the total cost, for example: installation and commissioning costs plus 12 monthly subscriptions, by up to £350.
The code has no other value, and cannot be redeemed in any other way.
What you will need to pay for
You will be required to enter into a contract for a minimum of 12 months with one of the suppliers registered under the scheme and pay for:
- any remaining cost of installation and commissioning (if any).
- choosing the features of the broadband service you require.
- the monthly subscription for the service you have selected.
- any VAT on the amounts payable.
It is important to remember that some broadband packages such as satellite, are based around the amount of data that you use each month. This should be taken in to account before you order a package.
The Better Broadband Scheme has been extended for a further year until 31 December 2019, ensuring that a subsidised basic broadband installation remains available to eligible applicants.
As part of this extension, Broadband Delivery UK (the scheme’s operators) have informed Kent County Council that they want to review how the national scheme operates.
This means that the existing application process will remain in place until midday on 31 December 2018 and that Kent County Council will continue to process complete applications received before this deadline.
Broadband Delivery UK will then relaunch the scheme later in January 2019. We will update this site when BDUK issues us with further information on the timings and the details of the re-launch.
Updates will be published on the Better Broadband website.
Once you have received a unique code you should:
- Review and compare the products and prices available from the providers on the scheme. Each provider will be offering a variety of packages based around the amount of data you need and the speed of the connection. These are:
- Select the product that best meets your requirements and the amount of monthly subscriptions you are willing to pay.
- Approach your chosen broadband service provider to order the service you require, and provide them with your unique code. The broadband retail service provider will confirm the features of the product you have chosen, and the costs involved in a minimum 12 months service contract, after the code has been taken into account.
The code can only be used with broadband service providers operating under the scheme. Other broadband service providers may join the scheme after launch, and you will be advised of the list of broadband service providers currently operating under the scheme at the time that you are issued with your unique code.
The scheme to deliver the 2Mbps Universal Service Commitment from BDUK is operated by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK).
Applications under the scheme and decisions to award codes in Kent and Medway are made by Kent County Council, in consultation with BDUK, using a nationally-set process and eligibility criteria.