SuperFast Britain is here to stay, aiming to make slow broadband a thing of the past for businesses throughout the country. Initially set to end in March 2015, the scheme was extended on the 1st of April 2015 with the aim of building on the success it has achieved so far. Recognising that a fast and reliable connection speed is essential for any enterprise, thousands of businesses are now able to claim grants over the coming year to boost their broadband networks. Could yours be one of them? Let’s find out.
SuperFast Scheme Extended
When the government first launched its Superconnected Cities campaign in February 2014, funding was available for small and medium enterprises in 22 cities throughout the UK. Its popularity immediately took off, enabling thousands of businesses outside of London to boost their broadband speeds, supported by grants that covered the cost of upgrading their infrastructure. In Yorkshire and other areas of the North, where the need for improvement was great, the take up rates were particularly high – Leeds and Bradford led the way with the number of voucher claims.
In light of SuperFast’s early successes, the government has extended the scheme for a further year, and has decided to rollout the vouchers to 50 cities. In West Yorkshire alone, this opens up Connection Vouchers to more than 25,000 businesses in Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield. 99% of SMEs are now eligible for a grant, and the government hopes that 95% will be superconnected by March 2016. But what exactly are the criteria?
Eligibility for Connection Vouchers
Grants of up to £3000 are available for businesses looking to improve their internet connection, providing they meet the criteria for eligibility. Connection vouchers are available on a first come, first served basis, and cover the cost of upgrading your network as opposed to the ongoing cost of a price plan. However as network installation and maintenance work can be extremely expensive for a startup or social enterprise, these grants have huge potential.
To apply for SuperFast vouchers you must be an SME, charity or social enterprise located in one of the 50 cities and regions outlined by the scheme. Available through local suppliers, vouchers can be issued to reimburse the cost of connections worth over £200 on your work premises. Homeworkers can also apply for the grants, providing your home is the primary place of work. If you want to find out more about your eligibility, or the vouchers themselves, contact your local telecoms provider. Alternatively, an independent business telecoms expert can help you get started on your application.
The extension of the SuperFast scheme is great news for small and medium enterprises, as well as charities, in the UK. From emails to ecommerce sites, nowadays every business relies on the internet to a certain extent. And with Connection Vouchers, you can leave the days of slow broadband behind with government funded support. So don’t miss out on your chance to claim!
This article is written by Kelly Gilmour Grassam with helpful information from OptionBox. Kelly is a freelance copywriter from Yorkshire who loves travel and eating out. You can follow her on Twitter @KellyGGrassam.