What is the Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme (SBVS)?
The scheme has been developed by the Scottish Government to ensure that every household and business in Scotland can access an affordable superfast broadband service.
To find out more information on SBVS and how you can benefit from a faster broadband connection here are some useful documents to read up on.
- SBVS Beneficiary Terms and Conditions - this legal document outlines what to expect when signing up to the scheme through your chosen supplier.
- SBVS Fact Sheet - this fact sheet contains general information on the scheme and how to check your eligibility.
- SBVS Customer Journey – this will assist you in the end to end journey of utilising the scheme
Your chosen provider should be able to give you more information on the SBVS scheme as well.
If you have any questions on what is contained in these documents, please fill in our enquiry form, and a member of our team will get back to you.
What does ‘affordable’ mean?
We define an ‘affordable’ service as one that will cost the customer no more than £46.10 (inc VAT) per month – this is the same monthly cost as services delivered through the UK Government’s Universal Service Obligation (USO).
How do I check if my address is eligible for a voucher?
If there are no plans to bring superfast broadband to your address before the end of 2021, and your current broadband connection speed is confirmed as being less than 30 Megabits per second (Mbps), your address will be eligible for a voucher.
If there are plans in place to bring superfast broadband to your address by the end of 2021, your address will not be eligible for a voucher.
You can confirm eligibility by entering details into the Scottish Government’s online checker.
What costs will be covered by a voucher, should my address be eligible?
Vouchers are used to subsidise any installation costs associated with delivery of a service, including any equipment that delivers a connection into your address, such as new fibre connections, satellite dishes, outdoor mobile antennas and broadband routers. You should discuss with your provider exactly what will be delivered from the voucher costs that can be claimed for your address.
Vouchers do not cover monthly broadband service charges.
What kind of service can I expect to receive?
Every connection delivered through a voucher must be capable of speeds of 30Mbps and above. The scheme itself is technology neutral, meaning that any superfast-capable technology can be used to deliver that connection. The technology used will be dependent on both the level of subsidy provided by the voucher, and which suppliers are operating in your area.
How does the application process work?
Find out if you may be eligible for a voucher by entering your details into the online checker. If the checker indicates that you are eligible for a superfast voucher, continue your enquiry with any registered provider listed here, as the provider will request the voucher on your behalf. Once you have engaged a provider, they will double check your eligibility, request the voucher on your behalf and start working on delivering your connection.
Providers will be able to register with the scheme at any time so keep checking back for more options.
We recommend that you opt for a broadband package which best suits your requirements. It is important that you research other options available from other suppliers (including those not registered under the scheme) as, in some cases, you may have access to better offers.
Do I have to take out a contract?
Yes. You are required to sign a contract with your chosen supplier for a minimum of 12 months. If you want to terminate the agreement within the first year, you may be subject to a termination fee, payable to the supplier, and repayment of the subsidy value of the voucher.
When is the scheme open until?
It is currently intended that for those eligible for the interim voucher scheme, providers will be able to apply until 31 December 2021. The main vouchers scheme will remain under continuous review and will remain open until such point as the Scottish Government give notice of any changes or closure of the scheme.
Can I contribute my own money to get a better connection?
Vouchers serve as subsidies towards installation and equipment costs. So, yes, a voucher could technically be used as a contribution alongside your own money towards a more expensive installation that exceeds the value of the voucher alone. However, you would need to discuss this in advance with your chosen provider.
I currently get broadband speeds of above 24Mbps, but below 30Mbps. Am I eligible for a voucher?
You may be eligible for a voucher. Please visit our online checker to confirm. If you are not eligible for a voucher, it is because commercial deployment is expected to lift your connection to 30Mbps or above before the end of 2021.
The online checker suggests that my property is not eligible for a voucher, but I believe that it is. Is there an appeals process?
If you believe that the online checker should have indicated that you are eligible for a voucher, but has suggested otherwise, then please contact us via our enquiries form and we will be happy to look into this for you.
What can I do if I’m not happy with my service from a SBVS provider?
The service contract between you and a SBVS provider is entirely commercial and not a matter for SBVS intervention. There are a number of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) schemes available to you should this be required.
My business is registered as an SME – what do vouchers mean for me?
For VAT registered SMEs, the voucher value cannot be used towards paying the VAT due on the installation charges. Your chosen provider will notify you of the sum due by providing you with a VAT only invoice. Full details can be found in the SBVS Beneficiary Terms & Conditions.
What checks are done to ensure that the connection a R100 SBVS provider installs at my address is superfast?
The registered provider who claims the voucher funding on your behalf must check that the service delivers speeds of 30Mbps or more when the installation is complete. You then have to validate that the connection provides speeds of 30Mbps or more before the voucher is paid to the provider.
Campbell & Kennedy is the official audit partner for the R100 SBVS and may be in touch with recipients of voucher funding to collect information on their new connection. This enables monitoring of the performance of registered R100 SBVS providers and checks that beneficiaries are satisfied with the end result.
Accessing a Superfast service
The online checker suggests I am already able to order a superfast service. What should I do now?
If you can already order a superfast service, then contact any commercial supplier who offers services in your area to discuss your options.
The online checker suggests a commercial supplier will shortly be offering services in my area. What does this mean?
If the checker states that a commercial supplier is planning to offer services in your area soon, then we would encourage you to keep checking the R100 website for updates. If you still do not have any commercial services available to you by July 2021, you may then be eligible for a voucher.
What kind of connection will be delivered?
The connection delivered to your address will provide superfast broadband speeds of 30Mbps or above.
When will build begin?
The online checker will provide a timeframe for when your connection is expected to be delivered.
How do I find out which commercial suppliers I will be able to order a service from?
Aggregation websites, such as Ofcom’s broadband and phone checker, can often let you know which suppliers operate in your area and provide links to their websites.
I have been informed that a commercial connection has now been delayed until after 31 December 2021. What can I do?
You may be eligible for a voucher. Use the online checker to confirm the delay and to find our more information about different voucher schemes.
Where does the information in the map come from?
The R100 programme regularly gathers and analyses data from broadband providers operating in Scotland. This data lets us see which specific addresses they currently provide superfast broadband to now, and which addresses they plan to provide this service for in the future.
Based on this information the R100 programme can then determine which addresses in Scotland do not currently have access to superfast broadband, and are not included in commercial plans to be able to access superfast broadband in the future.
R100 currently receives information from the following broadband providers:
Balquhidder Community Broadband
Cromarty Firth Wireless Networks
In addition to the list above, there are many more broadband providers across Scotland, including suppliers to our Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme. Further details are available at: https://broadband.gov.scot/registered-suppliers/
If you represent a commercial broadband provider operating in Scotland and want to provide data to the R100 programme, please get in touch here
Why has the information shown in the map for my address changed?
The map shows combined information provided to the R100 programme by all broadband providers operating in Scotland, as well as the most up to date information available on broadband infrastructure planned and delivered through the R100 programme.
Deployment of digital infrastructure at a national scale is complex, involving the need to overcome significant planning and engineering challenges. In addition, data received from commercial broadband providers can be subject to change as information available on their networks and ongoing plans for expansion are refined.
Inevitably this means that for a relatively small proportion of premises, the route to superfast broadband may change as the programme progresses.
Although the message provided for your address may change, if the data we have received does not indicate that superfast broadband is already available to you the R100 map will always provide you with information about alternative solutions for you to access it.