Details of revamped business vouchers for Wales revealed
Given the number of years that voucher schemes have been running to resolve slow broadband for businesses and residents of Wales its surprising that there are still those with slow broadband, and with a revamp and a bigger emphasis on ultrafast broadband the Welsh Government is trying once more to resolve the not so fast parts of Wales and encourage adoption of fast solutions where they are available. The new vouchers come in three flavours and are aimed at business users, and can be used to upgrade to new connectivity that are part of the wider SuperfastCymru roll-out or more bespoke solutions to bring decent broadband to an area well ahead of the main roll-out.
- £400 Access Broadband Cymru voucher for 10Mbps and 20Mbps service
- £800 Access Broadband Cymru voucher for 30Mbps service
- up to £10,000 voucher for an ultrafast service. The 1st £3,000 of eligible costs are 100% funded by Welsh Government, between £3,000 and £17,000 is 50% funded, and above £17,000 no additional funding is provided.
A key point is that to qualify for a voucher the resulting connection must be at least double your current download speed, so if already on a fairly good 17 Mbps connection you need to find something that is 34 Mbps or faster. Ultrafast in this instance refers to a broadband connection with download speeds of 100 Mbps and faster.
In theory the first version of FTTPoD (FTTP installed by Openreach on demand in existing FTTC areas) is available from Openreach in Wales but the difficulty is generally in finding a retailer happy to buy and sell the service which is only available as a 330 Mbps download (30 Mbps upload) version. FTToD terms and pricing is very different from the cost of native FTTP from Openreach which is appearing in increasing numbers of locations across Wales including some business parks.
Of course there are other options available, such as fixed wireless, satellite, 4G, FTTC and then bonding solutions or full leased lines that some businesses may want to use the vouchers for.