Superfast Broadband Scheme: Is your Business Eligible?

10th September 2015

Since we made an investment of £500,000 in South West business technology provider Stem Group, Stem has extended its range of services and grown its team. This has resulted in many joint IT projects between our customers and Stem’s. We have again teamed up with Stem to bring our customers faster and more reliable broadband through the Government Voucher Scheme.

The Government Scheme offers financial support to small and medium sized UK businesses to cover the costs of installing or upgrading to faster broadband. Available until March 2016, the Broadband Connection Voucher scheme provides a grant of up to £3,000.

What does the Superfast Government Broadband scheme offer?

The scheme offers SMEs grants of up to £3,000 to cover installation costs associated with connecting to superfast broadband. Many businesses are also opting to apply as a group to connect bigger or more complicated premises. Once installed, businesses pay the line rental and VAT.

How many businesses have signed-up?

More than 25,000 small and medium businesses across the UK have now benefitted from the Government’s Broadband Connection Voucher scheme, with around 1,000 vouchers currently being issued each week.

How can I find out if my business is eligible for the Scheme?

The Government has made £40m available in 2015/16 for the scheme, and the vouchers are being issued on a “first come, first served” basis.
According the the Government website, eligibility criteria includes the following:

• Your business is within an eligible area one of the 50 cities taking part in the scheme. Check your postcode to find out if you’re eligible
• You are a SME, registered charity, social enterprise or sole trader
• Installation of your new broadband connection will cost over £100
• The connection is for your business premises
• You are willing to sign up to a minimum 6-month contract with your broadband supplier
• The broadband service you select delivers a speed or performance improvement on your current connection. There are some detailed requirements on speed
• You have not received more than €200,000 in grants in the last 3 years

Eligibility criteria can also vary according to City, so take a look at the eligibility checker on the Government website to discover the exact requirements for your business.

Why is the Government funding this scheme?

The Government recognises that businesses need to be equipped for all the challenges of the digital world and urges all eligible businesses to apply as soon as possible to make sure they don’t miss out on the available grants.

What are my next steps?

To find out if your business is eligible, take a look at the criteria on the Government website and contact your Itec account manager or email to find out how we work with the Stem team to improve your broadband while reducing costs.

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