CITIBASE Newcastle has become the first multi-tenanted commercial property in the city to take advantage of a scheme to get businesses connected to superfast broadband.
The grand Victorian office building in Mosley Street will soon have state-of-the-art communications thanks to the Go Digital Newcastle initiative run by Newcastle City Council.
Go Digital Newcastle provides connection vouchers worth up to £3,000 for small and medium businesses, charities and social enterprises in the city to get connected to superfast broadband with the supplier of their choice.
Landlords can apply for multiple vouchers on behalf of their tenants – and Citibase has succeeded in its application for 24 vouchers, with possibly more to come.
Phillip Turner of Resolution Support International is Citibase’s IT and telecoms consultant – and he says the superfast connection is going to make a big difference to the businesses housed there.
“We’re going to be able to offer our customers the ability to burst up to 50mbps, with symmetrical bandwidth for upload and downloads, where previously we were looking at half a meg upload and seven download,” he said.
“A lot of our customers were also asking us to provide more bandwidth, which we simply could not do. We’ll also have Wi-Fi available throughout the building.”
Citibase Newcastle is home to a wide range of businesses including law firms, accountants and IT consultancies and is one of nearly 50 business centres offered by Citibase across the UK.
Citibase chose installer Unitel to carry out the installation of superfast broad into the building. Cabling will begin in September, and will bring benefits for both the occupier customers and for Citibase itself.
Phillip said: “Now, the cabling throughout the building will make it much easier for new customers to get superfast broadband. From Citibase’s point of view as a business centre operator, it makes the property much more attractive to their customers.”
Go Digital Newcastle connection vouchers are funded by the Government’s BDUK scheme and administered by Newcastle City Council. Small and medium businesses, charities and social enterprises in Newcastle, Gateshead and North Tyneside can apply for them.
Businesses choose the superfast broadband provider they want to subscribe to, and pay any VAT and ongoing charges. Those who are based in Newcastle can also take advantage of a range of free business support advice and masterclasses funded by ERDF.
Cllr Michael Johnson, Newcastle City Council Deputy Cabinet Member for Skills, Business and Enterprise, said the scheme was providing a real boost both for local landlords and their commercial tenants.
“High-speed broadband is a necessity for all kinds of organisations these days, as more and more business is done online and customers seek services and products through the internet,” he said.
“Putting superfast broadband capability into a tenanted building or business park future-proofs the premises and adds extra value to the asset for the landlord while making life easier and more profitable for tenants.”