What is 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.
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.
- SBVS Key Facts – important facts about the voucher scheme.
Your chosen supplier 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 £48.90 (inc VAT) per month – this is the same monthly cost as services delivered through the UK Government’s Universal Service Obligation.
How do I check if my address is eligible for a voucher?
Sub-30Mbps properties where there are no plans for superfast connections in the R100 contracts or commercial build may be eligible for a voucher, offering a subsidy worth up to £5,000 per property.
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?
The voucher is used to subsidise any direct installation costs incurred by a supplier, 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 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.
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, which suppliers are operating in your area and the property requirements.
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 supplier listed here, as the supplier will request the voucher on your behalf. Once you have engaged a supplier, they will advise whether or not they are able to service your property, double check your eligibility, request the voucher on your behalf and start working on delivering your connection.
Suppliers 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?
SBVS 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. The interim voucher scheme closed on 31 March 2022.
Can I contribute my own money to get a better connection?
SBVS serves as a subsidy towards capital costs such as direct installation and equipment costs incurred by a supplier. 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 and agree 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 was expected to lift your connection to 30Mbps or above.
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 supplier?
The service contract between you and a SBVS supplier 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. All registered SBVS suppliers must be registered with an ADR service.
My business is registered as an SME – what does a voucher 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 supplier installs at my address is superfast?
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. You then have to validate that the connection meets the requirements of the SBVS 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 end result.
My address was eligible for an interim voucher – can I still apply for the £400 subsidy?
Now that the R100 contract build is well underway and commercial build continues to roll-out across Scotland, applications for interim vouchers are no longer accepted.
The interim voucher portion of the R100 Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme (SBVS) was intended to run for a limited period until 31 December 2021 to allow premises – where superfast broadband roll-out was planned from 2022 onwards – to access a subsidy worth up to £400 to deliver a temporary solution. This offer was extended by three months to 31 March 2022 to give potential beneficiaries additional time to apply via their registered supplier.
Will potential SBVS suppliers want to carry out a survey to confirm if they can connect me and do I need to pay for it?
In some cases a supplier may carry out a physical survey to determine likely speeds and the most optimal solution, ensuring that the connection can deliver a minimum speed of 30Mbps. Registered suppliers may choose to pass these survey costs on to customers – even in cases where the survey reveals no solution can be delivered – this is at the supplier’s discretion. You may find it worthwhile to compare potential suppliers before establishing which one best meets your needs. Our list of registered suppliers is regularly updated.
Can I receive the voucher funding directly and pay an installer to connect the service?
The SBVS is designed to bridge the additional capital expenditure suppliers incur over and above their normal commercial capital costs associated with deploying a superfast broadband service, up to a cap of £5,000. Suppliers have to evidence those costs in advance whilst demonstrating that they are making their normal commercial returns from the rental of the broadband service, and not making a direct profit from capital costs incurred by means of the SBVS subsidy. In this way, the Scottish Government can ensure that State funds are used appropriately and mitigate the risk of fraud.
Issuing vouchers directly to end user beneficiaries would render this mechanism unworkable and place the onus on the beneficiary to try and ensure that the supplier is not profiteering from capital subsidy. For example, the scenario where a £5,000 voucher is used where a supplier only incurs £2,500 of costs, yet charges the full value of the voucher to the beneficiary, could result in the Scottish Government having to involve the beneficiary in claw back of funds.
I haven’t heard from my chosen supplier since I agreed to the voucher being issued – when will it be delivered?
While applications for interim vouchers closed on 31 March 2022, build may still be ongoing as the registered supplier has 28 days to install your broadband connection from when you confirm details of the voucher request. The SBVS subsidy worth up to £5,000 will take 12 months. All SBVS registered suppliers must adhere to these timescales. Your supplier should keep you informed of delivery progress and installation timelines and you should contact them directly for updates.
In a small number of cases 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 sets out the capital costs which can be claimed through the scheme, as well as those which cannot be claimed. 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 such additional costs. This should be made clear to you at the outset before any agreement is entered into – any agreement reached is a commercial contract between you as the beneficiary and your chosen supplier.
Can I use my voucher to cover Excess Construction Charges?
You will need to demonstrate that your premises cannot get a minimum 30Mbps speed, and that an infrastructure provider has advised they need to carry out extra work in order to provide a service. These are sometimes known as “Excess Construction Charges” and are an eligible cost item. A registered SBVS supplier will still have to be engaged to deliver the connection and the SBVS supplier can choose to use the infrastructure provider that gave you the quote for the excess construction charge. The SBVS supplier can then detail how the excess construction charge aligns with the supplier’s other capital costs in their voucher request to the SBVS team made on your behalf.
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 provider who offers services in your area to discuss your options.
The online checker suggests a commercial provider will shortly be offering services in my area. What does this mean?
If the 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.
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 providers 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 providers operate in your area and provide links to their websites.
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 R100 Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme. Further details are available at: https://www.scotlandsuperfast.com/how-can-i-get-it/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?
If you dispute the connectivity information about your address that’s returned on the online postcode checker please submit an enquiry through this form. The connection status of your address will be investigated and you’ll be kept up-to-date of the findings.