More EU funding for business broadband in Northumberland
Businesses in Northumberland may see a broadband boost beyond the BDUK county level project and various RCBF projects. The iNorthumberland website has details of some £2.74m of funding the county has attracted from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Competitiveness Programme 2007- 2013, with the county council matching the funding level.
The funds look set to be used in a two pronged approach, the ERDF money can only be used for last mile connectivity, so it can be used for improving broadband connections beyond what any other project in the area may deliver. Additionally a Digital Economy Centre for Excellence will be developed to hopefully stimulate the small and medium enterprise market across Northumberland, ensuring businesses have access to the support they need and how they can exploit improved broadband to create more jobs in the area.
The project is anticipating helping 2,600 businesses benefit from improved connectivity, and to us it seems very likely that this may actually mean vouchers for firms to put toward the cost of Fibre on Demand. The reliability of a full fibre optic connection, in particular the fact it is not subject to radio frequency interference (RFI) means for many small business units that have a variety of manufacturing equipment, ADSL and VDSL can sometimes be unreliable or run slower than would be normally expected.