UK broadband voucher scheme overhauled
Businesses are being urged to take advantage of a scheme to get faster, cheaper broadband. The government is overhauling its plans for getting ultra-fast broadband to UK businesses after disappointing take-up of its current scheme.
As reported by the BBC only £7.5m out of a possible £100m has so far been spent, with just 3,000 businesses taking up vouchers. As reported by the BBC:
'Initially the government had expressed hope of reaching 200,000 small businesses.
With a March 2015 deadline for the money to be spent, the government is keen to galvanise interest.
Changes aimed at making it easier to get the money include a redesigned website and a more streamlined process of applyng for a grant.
Other changes include:
- Qualifying businesses no longer need to fill in an application form but can access the government grant with a call to a pre-approved broadband supplier
- Businesses that already have a different supplier in mind need only to fill in a form to get their quote approved
- Suppliers can also apply to BDUK (the group overseeing the process) with a set of eligible connection costs, cutting the need for businesses to apply at all
- Once a broadband package has been approved, suppliers can market them to eligible businesses with no more need for forms or rubber-stamping.'
As reported by the BBC, Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport said:
'This is a golden opportunity for businesses to take advantage of better broadband. The grant takes away the costs of installation, which are normally charged up front or added to monthly charges.'
Internet link: BBC news