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Government reminds business to grab vouchers while they last
Wednesday 24 June 2015 10:18:48 by Andrew Ferguson

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
Area Total
Scotland 1,043
Wales 1,126
Northern Ireland 1,356
North West 4,188
North East 653
Yorks and Humber 3,781
Midlands 2,600
London 8,857
East of England 601
South East 1,047
South West 845

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.

Comments

Posted by dogbark about 1 year ago
You say "but is noT open to some 50 cities"
You mean "but is noW open to some 50 cities"
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
So I did, changed.
Posted by John_Gray about 1 year ago
It's a fat lot of good offering Connection Vouchers for a town when the local BT cabinet isn't enabled for Fibre Broadband, and there seems no way of finding out when, or if ever, it will be enabled!
This is almost back to the dark days of the '50s or '60s, where getting a telephone line installed was the work of the devil and took months...
</livid>
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