Newcastle businesses will soon be able to apply for a voucher worth up to £3,000 to pay for the installation of Next Generation Access (NGA) Broadband.
The voucher scheme is, administered by Newcastle City Council and funded by the Government’s Urban Broadband Fund which is managed by BD UK part of the Department for Culture Media and Sport. It will give businesses access to superfast broadband and wireless connectivity enabling them to reach new markets, create jobs and attract investment.
The Connection Voucher will pay towards the fixed cost of getting SMEs connected. It is worth between £250 and £3,000.
A Connection Voucher could be available to Small or Medium Enterprise (SME) or Social Enterprise organisations based in Newcastle if:
- The business is looking for a connection to their business premises
- The connection will cost the business more than £250
- If a business is looking for a connection to their business premises
- The business is willing to sign up for a minimum six month contract with their supplier
- The businesses has not received more than £120k in grants in the last three years
- The business is up to date with their payments of Business Rates to Newcastle City Council
The benefits to businesses of upgrading to a connection of 30Mbps or higher include: Improved reliability of service, better communication with customers and staff, reduced costs through more efficient working, improved data storage and accessibility, higher speed upload and download for large files.
Deputy Cabinet Member for Skills, Business and Enterprise, Cllr Michael Johnson, said: “Businesses are very clear about how important accessing high speed broadband is to them.
“It enables companies to access new markets, achieve growth, promote themselves on an international stage and work more efficiently.
“Creating jobs and attracting investment to the region are key priorities for the city council; I urge eligible businesses to contact the council and find out how they can apply for these vouchers and benefit from this broadband offer.”
Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said:
“The broadband market is moving at an incredible pace. Today, businesses expect and demand faster and faster broadband to compete in the global race. Connection vouchers will be an important tool for cities in helping to address that demand, and Government has now allocated up to £100 million to provide a digital boost to superconnected cities like Newcastle.”
The voucher scheme will be open for applications in Newcastle in the next few weeks, but you can register your interest now and we'll be in touch when the scheme goes live.