Vouchers available to help speed up Gravesham's rural internet
PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 October 2019
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A slow internet connection should have been eliminated years ago, but the truth is that many rural areas are still not-spots.
But now residents and businesses in rural areas of Gravesham are being urged to find out if they qualify for a new scheme that could help them boost their broadband speeds.
The Kent Broadband Top-Up Voucher scheme means owners of rural premises with broadband speeds of less than 30mbps can get together to apply for vouchers to support the costs of a new gigabit-capable broadband connection.
The government scheme is worth up to £3,500 for each small and medium sized business and up to £1,500 per residential premises when they apply as part of a group project of two or more properties.
Kent County Council is providing additional funding of up to £1,000 for eligible Kent residents taking up a Rural Gigabit Voucher. This Kent top-up voucher means that homeowners can apply for funding of up to £2,500, compared to £1,500 elsewhere.
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Cllr Shane Mochrie-Cox, Gravesham Council's cabinet member for community and leisure, said: "This scheme is good news for many in the borough.
"A lot of our rural areas, particularly to the south of the A2, suffer from slow broadband connection and qualify for the Kent Top-Up Voucher scheme based on current speeds."
Once confirmed as being eligible for the scheme, groups will need to find a registered supplier who will request the voucher on their behalf. The supplier will carry out the necessary work and will be paid by the Government once the connection is live and working.
"I would urge residents and businesses in rural areas of Gravesham to check their broadband speed and, if eligible, make the most of the Kent Top-Up Voucher scheme," said Cllr Mochrie-Cox. "It's a great opportunity to improve connections for the good of local communities."
Communications watchdog Ofcom says distance from a telephone exchange is a prime reason for a slow connection along with trying to use it at peak times and using a damaging phone line.
Further information on how to apply is available via www.kent.gov.uk/kentvoucherscheme.