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 applying 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.’