Edinburgh’s businesses have only until 30th September to apply for a subsidised installation of faster and better broadband services, as the Government’s market testing of the Broadband Voucher scheme draws to a close.
The scheme, which is part of the Government’s “Super Connected Cities” programme, allows businesses to apply for grants of up to £3,000 to cover the costs of installing faster and better broadband into their premises. It particularly aims to benefit small and medium enterprises (SMEs), helping cities to create and attract new jobs and investment, and make the UK a more attractive place for companies to locate and do business.
Other cities taking part in this initial stage are Salford, Cardiff, Manchester and Belfast.
All the information businesses need to apply for the vouchers can be found at https://www.connectionvouchers.co.uk/
Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said:
“Having faster and more reliable broadband connections in Edinburgh will be instrumental in driving growth and boosting the local economy. I strongly urge the businesses of Edinburgh to make the most of this offer which will save them literally thousands of pounds and ensure they are properly equipped to compete in today’s digital age.”
Cllr Frank Ross, Convener of the Economy Committee, said:
“In the dynamic world of business, it is vital to have a fast broadband connection to ensure that you are always connected to your staff and customers for optimum efficiency as well as expanding your business quickly. The Council’s Connected Capital team has worked hard to secure this opportunity for local businesses and we are only one of four cities in the UK chosen for the pilot.”
The scheme is part of the Government’s wider “Superfast Britain” programme of work which is transforming the UK’s communication infrastructure. Around 88% of the country will have access to superfast broadband by December 2015, with an estimated 90% getting superfast coverage by early 2016. An extra £250 million of investment means we will reach 95% of premises by 2017 and we are now exploring with industry how to expand coverage further, using more innovative fixed, wireless and mobile broadband solutions, to reach at least 99 per cent of premises in the UK by 2018.
Notes to Editors
- In 2011, the government set aside £100 million for an Urban Broadband Fund (UBF) that will create up to ten ‘super-connected’ cities across the UK. This was followed in 2012 by a further fund of £50 million for a ‘second wave’ of cities to benefit from this programme
- The super-connected cities will benefit from increased access to faster and better broadband, and large areas of public wireless internet (wifi) access
- The super-connected cities were announced in two waves. The first wave, announced in March 2012, included: Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Belfast, Newcastle, Leeds and Bradford (joint proposal), Edinburgh, Cardiff and London
- We announced the second wave of super connected cities in December 2012. They are: Aberdeen, Brighton and Hove, Cambridge, Coventry, Derby, Derry/Londonderry, Newport, Oxford, Perth, Portsmouth, Salford and York