Information

Reaching 100% Scottish Broadband Interim Voucher Scheme (IVS): FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002


Information requested

1. As of 11 February 2022:
a. What is the total sum the Scottish Government has paid out to provide interim vouchers worth up to £400 to properties within i) LOT 1; ii) LOT 2: iii) LOT 3?
b. How many households have applied for the interim voucher within i) LOT 1; ii) LOT 2; iii) LOT 3?
c. How many households are eligible to apply for the interim voucher within i) LOT 1; ii) LOT 2; iii) LOT 3?

2. Please confirm if the Scottish Government has plans to further extend the interim voucher scheme beyond 31st March 2022?

3. Please confirm what actions have been taken to advertise the interim voucher scheme to all eligible households? Please also confirm the advertising budget and total spend so far on advertising?

4. In order to receive the interim voucher, do eligible households have to achieve a minimum level of Megabits per second (Mbps) following installation of broadband equipment? If so, please set out the terms and conditions of this.

5. Please list which Broadband Voucher schemes offered by the UK and the Scottish Governments, the interim voucher scheme can be used in conjunction with?

6. Prior to the launching of the interim voucher scheme, how many applications were the Scottish Government anticipating and had budgeted for?

7. Please confirm the Scottish Government’s current target for successful applications to the interim voucher scheme?

Response

I enclose a copy of the information you requested.

1. As of 11 February 2022:
(a) The following amounts had been issued to properties in each of the R100 lots to provide interim vouchers worth up to £400:
Lot 1 (North) = £35,597.59
Lot 2 (Central) = £78,393.60
Lot 3 (South) = £80,775.92

(b) The number of households that have applied for the IVS in each lot was as follows:
Lot 1 (North) = 350
Lot 2 (Central) = 313
Lot 3 (South) = 329

Please note that the above figures include vouchers which have been requested, issued, installed and cancelled. While the cancelled vouchers will no longer proceed, they are included in the total amount requested. The figures also include vouchers which were part of a pre-registered package (PRP) which were either approved, awaiting decision or part of a PRP which was either rejected or withdrawn by the supplier. Where a voucher is cancelled, that property will again become eligible for the scheme.

(c) The number of households eligible to apply for the interim voucher was as follows:
Lot 1 (North) = 67,650
Lot 2 (Central) = 37,273
Lot 3 (South) = 19,133

2. There are currently no plans to extend the interim voucher scheme beyond 31 March 2022.

3. Our website (www.scotlandsuperfast.com) is our main means of publicising the R100 programme of which R100 SBVS is a key component part. People can enter their address details to find out what the R100 programme means for them. In addition we have publicised R100 SBVS via the press, social media, and through continued stakeholder engagement activity across Scotland. We have received extensive coverage and reach across local and national media outlets and social media. Communications and stakeholder engagement budget and spend is allocated across all digital connectivity programmes of work, including R100 SBVS.

In March 2021 we distributed postcards to around 30,000 homes and businesses in South and Central Scotland that were eligible for the R100 SBVS (both main and interim vouchers) incurring a specific R100 SBVS spend of 12,875.65 plus VAT.

In addition, the extension of the IVS to 31 March 2022 has also been referenced in Parliament by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Economy during general questions on 09 December 2021.

4. The IVS is part of our R100 programme and therefore connections delivered through the scheme must be capable of delivering superfast speeds (30 Megabits per second). More information can be found in the R100 SBVS supplier terms and conditions: https://broadband.gov.scot/media/ljolreoz/sbvssupplier-terms-and-conditions.pdf.

5. The IVS vouchers cannot be combined with any UK Government voucher scheme.

6. As R100 SBVS is demand-led it is not possible to know how many applications will be received. However, prior to the launch of the scheme, we anticipated that around 16,500 properties in the South Lot and 28,600 premises in the Central Lot would be eligible for an interim voucher. As the North lot contract had yet to be signed we could not anticipate at that stage how many properties in the area would be eligible.

We budgeted costs for the IVS of £3.3 million over 2 years. This figure was based on all eligible subsuperfast premises in the North lot qualifying for the interim voucher given the on-going legal challenge at that time. These figures were based on a take-up rate of between 20% - 30%.

7. There are no targets set for connections to be delivered via IVS as the scheme is demand-led. We will continue to publicise the availability of the IVS and the closing date of 31 March 2022 to help drive further take up.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG

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