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SuperConnected Cities voucher scheme extended to March 2016
Thursday 04 December 2014 09:15:03 by Andrew Ferguson

While its not obvious from the ConnectionVoucher website yet, the scheme delivering vouchers worth up to £3,000 to the SME sector in some 22 UK cities has been extended from March 2015 to March 2016.

The extension was to be expected, particularly as £2 million has been spent on advertising the scheme, though we are not sure where that money has gone a bill board poster near Canary Wharf in Docklands is hopefully not that expensive (the only public location where we have spotted anything). A little more surprising is the addition of an extra £40 million, particularly if all the talk of demand being low, so either demand is better than rumours suggest or something else is afoot.

While it is easy to presume that this money is all going to BT via Openreach, the 22 cities have a healthy amount of competition in delivering infrastructure to the business sector. The real difficulty is in marketing business quality services which can cost a lot more per month than the entry level business services that are often the same price as consumer services, the extra price buys service guarantees, better support, less contention and can also unlock access to higher upload speeds.

Comments

Posted by ValueforMoney over 2 years ago
The Government is doing its best, but private circuits (Business Connectivity) as a fix for long line lengths is not ideal, neither is re-arranged copper terminating on a VDSL cab.

If we are serious the cost recovery regime for fixed line access needs to support a gradual transition for a lines which supports I suppose the 10Mbps, or perhaps wider use of FTTP/ATA which is already in Ofcoms product definition.
Posted by fastman over 2 years ago
Vouchers can only be used to fund a service they cannot be used to fund cabs or rearrange network as that is infrastructure and subject to state aid
Posted by snoon over 2 years ago
We're a supplier on the scheme. It really is £3k for free, but only suits you if you are looking to move to dedicated fibre/wireless services as the connection must deliver 20Mb + to be eligible. BT cannot use the money to fibre enable a cabinet. But it is possible for ISP's to get businesses to pool the funding. We offer fibre fed fixed wireless access networks etc.
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