The Connection Voucher scheme for small and medium businesses started off in a small way but is now open to some 50 cities across the UK and the Government has published some take-up information showing 25,000 vouchers had been claimed by the end of May 2015.
|Vouchers issued as of 31st May 2015|
|Yorks and Humber||3,781|
|East of England||601|
The Connection Voucher scheme is supported by over 800 providers and while some of these may just be re-sellers of Openreach based infrastructure, there are plenty of alternate operators benefiting from the scheme using a variety of technologies to give businesses better broadband.
"The Connection Voucher Scheme is a great initiative, but 25,000 businesses is just the tip of the iceberg. Removing upfront broadband installation costs could benefit so many more SMEs all across the UK. The Department for Culture, Media & Sport needs to put more money into the pot to extend the scheme and stimulate the digital economy."Comment from Darren Shenkin, Business Development Director, Hyperoptic
Given the volume of complaints about poor business broadband in parts of London it is no surprise to see London gain the largest share for the vouchers, it also underscores the fact that better broadband is always available the hurdle is who pays for a home or business to get connected to it. The hope for the voucher scheme is that by helping to improve sales volume for some of the alternate operators it will encourage a wider expansion and possibly lower prices.
In terms of adding more money to the scheme (even if not all the money is used up the scheme is scheduled to close in April 2016), there is a Budget due in July so it is possible some more funds may become available, but if you are a SME best not to wait but get your application for a voucher in and benefit from better broadband than what you have now.