What are the Terms and Conditions of the R100 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. As a recipient of funding (the ‘beneficiary’), the Terms and Conditions outline what to expect when signing up to the scheme through your chosen supplier.
If you have any questions on what is contained in this document, 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 £54 (inc VAT) per month – this is the same monthly cost as services delivered through Ofcom's Universal Service Obligation.
What costs will be covered by a voucher, should my address be eligible?
The voucher is used to cover any installation costs incurred by a supplier. This includes 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 supplier exactly what will be delivered from the voucher cost that can be claimed for your address and any other charges a supplier may wish to make. The voucher will not cover monthly broadband service charges.
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 end the agreement within the first year, you may be subject to a termination fee, payable to the supplier, and repayment of the value of the voucher.
When is the scheme open until?
SBVS will remain under continuous review and open until such point as the Scottish Government give notice of any changes or closure of the scheme.
The online address checker suggests that my property is not eligible for a voucher, but I believe that it is. Is there an appeals process?
What can I do if I’m not happy with my service from a SBVS supplier?
The service contract between you and a registered SBVS supplier is not a matter for SBVS intervention. There are a number of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) schemes available to you should this be required. All registered SBVS suppliers must be registered with an ADR service.
What checks are done to ensure that the connection a registered SBVS supplier installs at my address provides access to superfast speeds?
The registered supplier who claims the voucher funding on your behalf must check that the service delivers speeds of 30Mbps or more when the installation is complete. Once your service is installed, you must validate that the connection provides speeds of 30Mbps or more before the voucher is paid to the supplier.
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 suppliers and checks that beneficiaries are satisfied with the broadband service.
I haven’t heard from my chosen supplier since I agreed to the voucher being issued – when will it be delivered?
Registered suppliers have up to 12 months to install your connection from the point when you confirm details of the voucher request. All SBVS registered suppliers must adhere to this timescale. Your supplier should keep you informed of delivery progress and installation timelines, and you should contact them directly for updates.
Occasionally, there may be instances where unforeseen circumstances beyond the supplier’s reasonable control cause a delay to installation beyond the required timescales. In these circumstances suppliers can be granted an extension to the delivery timescales which is approved by SBVS. Your supplier will keep you fully informed of this.
Are there any additional charges to be aware of?
The SBVS Supplier Terms & Conditions explain the costs which can be claimed through the scheme, as well as those that cannot. Suppliers may choose to charge an additional fee on top of the voucher value, but this is entirely at the supplier's discretion. The SBVS team has no role in determining any additional costs that you may have to pay. This should be made clear to you at the outset before you enter into any contract with a supplier. Any agreement reached is between you as the recipient and your chosen supplier.
Accessing a Superfast service
The online address 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 provider who offers services in your area to discuss your options.
The online address checker suggests a commercial provider will shortly be offering services in my area. What does this mean?
If the online address checker states that a commercial provider is planning to offer services in your area soon, then we would encourage you to keep checking the R100 website for updates and look out for communication directly from the provider to you at your property.
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 address checker will provide a timeframe for when your connection is expected to be delivered.
How do I find out which commercial providers I will be able to order a service from?
Websites, such as Ofcom’s broadband and phone checker, can often let you know which providers operate in your area and provide links to their websites.
What’s an excess construction charge and could I be asked to pay one?
Excess construction charges are additional costs beyond the standard connection charge, which require to be paid to connect a property to a supplier’s network. In general, properties in the R100 contracts should be able to be connected for the standard connection fee, with no excess construction charges being applied, however there are some exceptions.
Our R100 contract delivery partner, Openreach, will re-use standard routes to run new cables where possible, for example through existing underground ducts or between overhead poles. In instances where no existing routes are available, the most cost effective route for a new build is classified as the standard route.
Openreach can only apply excess construction charges – the difference between the non-standard and standard costs – if the customer or retail service provider (BT, TalkTalk, Virgin, Sky etc) requests that a non-standard route is used to connect a property.
Homes or businesses who are not in R100 contract build plans, but have received access to a faster broadband connection while R100 build has taken place at nearby properties, may be asked to pay an excess construction charge.
If you think that you’ve incorrectly been asked to pay an excess construction charge, please get in touch with our team.
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 whose networks have been assessed against the UK National Broadband Scheme:
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 R100 Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme.
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.
I don’t agree with the connection information that’s supplied for my address, what should I do?
Why might the R100 postcode checker differ from the Openreach website?
The Scottish Government gather information from several sources, including multiple broadband providers to be able to present the data at an individual premises level on scotlandsuperfast.com. Verification of the source data is factored into the timescales that are shown on the postcode checker, which start out on a ‘by end of year’ basis and then move to a six month delivery window when build is within one year.
Openreach use exchange level data to give an indicative timescale of their commercial build at exchange level via their online interactive map. This map shows their commercial build only. The Openreach postcode checker, on the same website, provides more information into future build at premises level, but does not currently provide the more detailed R100 timescales available on scotlandsuperfast.com.
People can sign-up to receive email alerts on the Openreach website, which will keep individuals informed predominantly when their service is ready to order for commercial, funded voucher programmes and R100 contracted build.
Is my phone line being upgraded?
The technology that’s used to make landline phone calls in the UK, known as the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), is due to be switched off over the next few years. This once-in-a-generation upgrade to future-proof the UK’s landlines is essential and will replace technology that is fast becoming obsolete.
The telecoms industry must migrate customers from the analogue service to new digital services that enable telephone calls to be made over broadband services. As the primary focus is to switch over the telephony signal, the delivery of the R100 programme will not be impacted.
If you have a questions about the PSTN switch-off, please speak to your service provider or visit the Ofcom website.