Broadband boost for SMEs


Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are set to benefit from a new government initiative designed to get them connected with high-speed internet facilities.

The £100 million Connection Voucher Scheme scheme was announced over the weekend (December 7th) by prime minister David Cameron. He revealed the details as part of the UK’s first ever Small Business Saturday – which was aiming to raise awareness among consumers of what the more independent companies have to offer.

As part of it, businesses will be able to apply for vouchers that will allow them to install better quality technology to improve their online capabilities. The grants will be worth up  to £3,000 each.

At the moment, only SMEs based in ten cities around the UK are eligible, with Manchester, London, Belfast and Cardiff among the regions included. However, the government has revealed plans to roll out the scheme to another 12 areas by early 2014. Over the summer, five cities took part in a successful trial.

Mr Cameron described the initiative as a “massive boost for growth in the UK” and said that ministers were working on “a complete overhaul of the UK’s infrastructure”.

“As part of our economic plan, I want to give our small businesses every possible advantage to compete in the global race – and also the flexibility to locate or set up right across the UK,” he commented.

SMEs are now being urged to get involved if they find themselves with anything at all to gain by taking advantage.

It’s hoped that around 90 per cent of the country will have access to superfast broadband by 2016 – with the government’s Superfast Britain programme aiming to aiming to provide speeds of a minimum of 24Mbps.

Do you think that having faster internet connectivity will make a difference to business? Is the move likely to create more jobs?

The Secret Businessman