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A government scheme to provide subsidies to rural homes and businesses in order to help them access adequate broadband is set to be extended for another year.

According to the Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme (BBSS), which has been set to expire on December 31st, will be active for a further 12 months for residents that cannot access connections faster than 2Mbps.

The scheme was created back in 2015 and was originally scheduled to end in 2017, but was extended for an extra year to assist those still not covered by Broadband Delivery UK's rollout of faster networks. The second extension may suggest that many homes and businesses are still missing out on fast connectivity.

It offers grants worth up to £350 to help improve connections to these locations, which consumers may use to secure technologies such as fixed-line fibre, fixed wireless, or satellite broadband they would otherwise be unable to afford. noted that typically, the vouchers received would be used to assist with the installation costs of a new service.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport told the website that more than 40,000 grants have been awarded as part of the scheme, which still has a remaining budget of £2.4 million set aside for the year ahead.

It remains unclear whether the BBSS will be extended beyond 2019, as next year is also set to see the launch of the Universal Service Obligation (USO), giving people with poor connections the legal right to request a faster service. 

However, the government has suggested the two schemes could run in parallel for the medium-term, with BBSS offering a quick-fix until full USO-compliant services are installed. 

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