Only Months Left To take Advantage of SME Broadband Voucher Scheme
One of the main requirements of any business today is a reliable and fast broadband connection, particularly where there are many employees using the connection and / or large amounts of data and larger files are regularly downloaded.
Apply For Your Superfast Broadband Voucher
If you are an SME for example that meets the criteria set out by the government, you could be eligible to receive a voucher worth over £100 and up to £3000 for your company’s installation of superfast broadband costs at your business premises, provided the new connection is a significant improvement of your existing one. The scheme administered by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) still has 6 months left to run and the government is now urging SME businesses to consider applying for the vouchers now so they don’t miss out. To take advantage of the scheme you will be required to sign up with your chosen provider for at least 6 months.
About The Voucher Scheme
The scheme which was extended by 12 months from this time last year and is thought to be a way to help British businesses and the broader economy. The vouchers provide a way for businesses get past the cost barrier that so often stands in the way of them getting a fast and reliable Internet connection. This will be particularly valuable with the increasing use of the cloud by businesses where staff and customers need continuous access to the latest files and information.
Initially For Cities
The voucher scheme stemmed from the government’s SuperConnected Cities Programme where £200 million of funding was made available with the intention of improving digital infrastructure and public Wi-Fi rollouts in 22 city centres – now expanded to 50 city centres. The scheme provides direct funding in the form of Broadband Connection Vouchers for businesses (who meet the criteria) needing to improve their digital connectivity.
The voucher scheme has already been taken up by more than 40,000 eligible companies with more than 11,000 vouchers having been issued by the end of August this year. Take up has been strongest in London, north-west England, where 6,344 businesses have taken up the offer, and in Yorkshire and Humberside where 5,734 businesses have claimed their vouchers.
Funding and Time Left
The vouchers are issued on a first come first served basis until the funding runs out so it is worth acting sooner than later if you’re seriously considering it. £40m worth of funding was made available in the current financial year and there is 6 months left to run on the scheme.
Is Your Business Eligible?
The voucher scheme is open to SMEs, registered charities, social enterprises or sole traders:
Employing fewer than 250 employees.
With a turnover no greater than £42.4m a year, or a balance sheet of no more than £36.5m.
Who have not received in excess of €200,000 of grants in the last three years.
Who are in the right post code area to eligible for a voucher. You can check this information by going to https://www.connectionvouchers.co.uk/
Who meet some possible extra criteria. It is important therefore to read all the information on offer.
Where the new connection is a significant improvement on your existing broadband. For non-fibre connections this will mean a minimum speed of 20Mbit/s or at least twice the speed of your existing connection. For next-generation access (NGA) connections e.g. most modern fibre and cable services, a minimum speed of 20Mbit/s applies.
If you are eligible you have 2 main options:
1 - You can choose one of the deals by one of the trusted suppliers as shown on the official Connection Vouchers site (861 registered suppliers currently available).
2 - You can get a quote from an existing trusted supplier in your area, create an account and enter your application manually.