The Better Broadband Scheme offers a subsidised basic broadband connection to businesses and private dwellings where occupiers are unable to access download speeds of at least 2 mbps, and who will not benefit from the superfast broadband rollout within the next 12 months.

Since its launch in December 2015, the scheme has boosted the broadband speeds of more than 20,000 homes and businesses in some of the hardest to reach areas of the country.

Businesses that are eligible to take advantage of the scheme have the installation and hardware costs of their connection subsidised to ensure their first-year costs are no more than £400.

The subsidy is used to fund a variety of technology solutions, including satellite, 4G and fixed wireless.

Margot James, Minister for Digital, said:

“Improving broadband services for people struggling with poor connections is a top priority for the government – we want everyone to benefit from the digital revolution.

“While we’ve helped make superfast speeds a reality for 19 out of 20 UK premises and are reaching thousands more each week, this scheme offers immediate assistance to those most in need.”

The government’s superfast broadband rollout continues as part of its Modern Industrial Strategy, ensuring all private and commercial premises have access to high speed broadband by 2020.

Originally expected to close at the end of 2018, the deadline for applications to the scheme has now been extended until 31 December 2019.