SME Broadband Connection Voucher Scheme ramps upsamiragazzane
This week the Department for Culture, Media and Sport announced that over 25,000 SMEs have now taken advantage of the Government’s broadband connection voucher scheme. The scheme helps businesses upgrade their broadband connection with a grant of up to £3000 and is available across 50 cities from over 500 suppliers.
The scheme was formally launched in early 2014 as part of the Super Connected Cities scheme. Despite some initial teething problems they have benefited from a renewed advertising push and streamlined application process – with over 12,000 vouchers being issued since the March Budget. From a take-up point of view alone it seems as though this demand side intervention is working.
As of 31 May 2015, more than half of all the vouchers delivered (on a first come, first served basis) were granted to SMEs in London, the North West, Yorks and Humber. The Government has made £40million available in 2015/16 and around 1000 vouchers are issued every week according to Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey.
Whilst the voucher scheme appears to be a success so far; popular amongst SMEs and well received by the industry, it isn’t yet clear whether more funds will be allocated under the Budget due to be announced on 8 July.