Community Broadband Scotland

Community Broadband Scotland

Grants and eligible costs

Rates and limit of grants

The scheme will provide between 70 per cent and 89 per cent of total eligible costs for capital works associated with eligible projects.

There is no upper or lower limit to the size of the project.

However, it is likely that below a certain threshold, projects will not be economically viable, with projects being subject to a value for money assessment.

It is a main feature of this scheme that the groups involved work to grow interest and demand in their communities, and we would estimate that a project should aim to make at least 500 broadband connections.

Project viability will be discussed with your Community Broadband Scotland officer.

If you receive funding through this scheme, it does not mean you cannot apply for other grant funding.

The support you may receive will be awarded as State Aid either through a notified scheme, a general block exemption or De Minimis.

De Minimis allows an entity to receive up to €200,000 aid over a 3 year period. In order to determine your eligibility for De Minimis you will need to detail any public awards of funding received by your organisation in the last 3 years. This includes grants, loans and subsidised contracts.

Eligible costs

The broadband scheme can provide grant assistance towards the capital infrastructure your project/community needs to deliver superfast broadband.

The eligible costs shall include the following costs:

  • investment costs for the deployment of a passive broadband infrastructure
  • investment costs of broadband-related civil engineering works
  • investment costs for the deployment of basic broadband networks, and
  • investment costs for the deployment of next generation access (NGA) networks

Additionally, your project and local area must also meet the following criteria for investment:

  • your project must be located in areas where there is no infrastructure of the same category (either basic broadband or NGA network)
  • there must be no such infrastructure likely to be developed on commercial terms within three years from the moment of publication of the planned aid measure, which shall also be verified through an open public consultation
  • support will be allocated on the basis of an open, transparent and non-discriminatory competitive selection process respecting the principle of technology neutrality
  • the network operator should offer the widest possible active and passive wholesale access, under fair and non-discriminatory conditions, including physical unbundling in the case of NGA  fibre networks
  • wholesale access should be granted for at least seven years and the right of access to ducts or poles should not be limited in time
  • in the case of aid for the construction of ducts, the ducts should be large enough to cater for several cable networks and different network topologies.


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