What is the Gigabit Voucher Scheme?
Between 2013 and 2015, the UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport ran a broadband connection voucher scheme, aiming to improve the digital infrastructure of the country by offering £2,500 vouchers to small businesses who paid for what was then cutting-edge broadband connectivity, resulting in improved connectivity across 50 UK cities.
In 2018, technology has moved on from the 30 Mbps broadband connections that the previous scheme was targeting, but the methodology has remained similar. The Government has now begun a £200 million Gigabit Voucher Scheme, to improve the optical fibre infrastructure across the UK.
With up to £2,500 on offer for small businesses who improve their data connections, it is important to know which businesses are eligible to claim under the Gigabit Voucher Scheme, and why a small business would want to make the investment.
Who is Eligible for the Gigabit Voucher Scheme?
After an initial trial run in four UK areas, the gigabit voucher scheme expanded nationwide in April 2018.
SMEs must meet a number of additional criteria to be eligible for up to £2,500 in vouchers. Firstly, the business must employ less than 249 employees, have a turnover of less than €50 million, or have received under €200k of public grants in the last 3 years of contracting the relevant package.
There are also a number of requirements for the connection being sought, the most obvious being that it must be gigabit-capable, and that the business must not already have a gigabit-capable connection. The delivered speed of the connection must be at least 100Mbps, and must at least double the speed of the current service being delivered.
The contract entered for service must be for at least a year, and at least six months of the service must be paid for. The voucher provided will be for a minimum of £500 and a maximum of £3000 toward the cost of the connection – not the ongoing cost of delivery.
What are the Benefits of Gigabit Internet?
Businesses across the globe benefit more from digitisation each year, with these benefits sharply increasing as time goes by. The more these benefits appear, however, the more stress is placed on business data connections – connections which were perfectly capable a few years ago simply do not provide enough speed for a growing business to take advantage of modern online services.
Recently, there has been a major shift toward ‘XAAS’ cloud services – literally, anything provided ‘as a service’. From VoIP to storage to wide area networking systems, SMEs are taking advantage of low cost, high reliability hosted services to reduce their needs for expensive networking appliances and on-site IT specialists.
The use of these services, though, is enabled by high-speed internet connections. Without a modern, fast, reliable service, these cost-saving and growth-enabling trends remain out of bounds for many businesses. Click here to find out more about our super high-speed Fibre Ethernet solution and the benefits it could offer your business.
If your business is on an ageing internet connection the Gigabit Voucher Scheme offers a way for you to modernise your businesses connection, to take advantage of the multitude of services and communication channels that the evolving internet has to offer. Learn more about Leased Line deals.
To find out more about the Gigabit Voucher Scheme, contact Leasedline.co.uk on 0808 115 4281 or get in touch online today.
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