From this week, businesses will be able to check their eligibility for a voucher, and will be asked to self-certify that they are a small or a medium-sized business to qualify.
The scheme was first launched in March 2018 to encourage broadband service providers to build full-fibre networks in the UK for small to medium-sized businesses, and in particular to support the cost of installing gigabit broadband to homes and businesses in rural areas.
However, the Financial Times has warned that the new scheme also has drawbacks for rural areas.
The paper notes that rural communities now face losing subsidies to install new fibre broadband because their applications will not be processed before the Government replaces its scheme with Project Gigabit, which has tighter eligibility criteria.
The new scheme has narrowed the rules on which homes in rural areas will qualify, excluding many places not covered by the initial phase of Project Gigabit.
Financial Times - Rural England struggles to secure state broadband subsidies
smallbusiness.co.uk - How your rural business can get a £3,500 boost for better broadband
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