What’s a Community Fibre Partnership?
It’s a term used by Openreach to describe the way it works with local communities to bring fibre broadband to homes and businesses.
Openreach put a joint funding arrangement in place, under which they contribute some of the costs and the community funds the rest. They then build the most affordable solution they can to meet communities’ needs.
These partnerships can take advantage of the Government’s two-year Rural Gigabit Connectivity (RGC) programme, launched in May 2019.
The government’s 2018 Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review (FTIR) identified that approximately 10% of UK premises would be unlikely to receive commercial access to gigabit-capable broadband by 2033, and that these premises would be located primarily in rural and remote areas.
They wanted to make sure that rural areas are not disadvantaged in the race for full-fibre broadband.
The RGC programme is intended to help ensure that the identified 10 per cent of premises are reached at the same time as the commercial rollout happens across the UK.
Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme
The earlier Gigabit Broadband Voucher scheme was adapted to support the RGC programme objectives.
For premises which meet the RGC criteria, voucher values are up to £3,500 for SME beneficiaries, and up to £1,500 for residents.
The RGC voucher criteria were changed by the Government in January 2020 (see ISPreview link below).
Our submission was entered under the old rules whereby only those premises with speeds under 30Mbps were eligible for Vouchers.
For more information
See the documents from gov.uk and BT Openreach explaining the process and follow the links below.
RGC Programme Key Information (also downloadable as a PDF)
About Community Fibre Partnerships
Explaining the process
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Read it online on gov.uk Community Led Broadband Schemes