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Grab up to £2,500 towards your business connectivity now!

Over 14,700 premises in the UK are now supported by vouchers claimed under the GBVS scheme and time is running out if you want to sign up your business for an upgraded connection.

It is predicted that only 23% of the funding pot remains, making it extremely unlikely that the funding will last until 31 March 2021, which is its scheduled end date.

In September, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced that out of the £67.8m fund that they committed to the GBVS scheme, £46.6m of it had already been snapped up. This represented 11,500 connections which have already been installed, worth £26.6m, and another 10,000 connections which have been reserved by UK businesses, worth £26.6m.

Whilst 95% of the UK is running at speeds of up to 24 Mbps; a gigabit-capable connection will ensure a small to medium-sized business (SMB) can benefit from speeds up to 1,000 Mbps, helping enhance the way they communicate and collaborate.

In fact, the data shows that the scheme has become even more popular over the last year and states that there is only £20.4m worth of funds left available for new applications.

What is the government offering?

Originally launched in March 2018 as part of the Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) programme, the GBVS scheme was given £67m in a bid to make full fibre broadband available to at least ten million homes and businesses by 2022. This is expected to be followed by 15 million in 2025 and ‘nationwide’ coverage by the end of 2033.

Initially, a pot of £67m was set aside for the GBVS with businesses invited to claim up to £3,000 to put towards the installation of a 1Gbps capable internet connection and, by February 2019, the GBVS scheme had already helped to create a total of 3,660 connections across businesses in the UK.

The initial surge of claimants led to the government reducing the maximum value of the vouchers from £3,000 down to £2,500.

Despite the deadline being set at 31 March 2021, the GBVS scheme may have fallen victim to its own success as the funding is expected to run out long before the deadline thanks to the popularity of the scheme.

How will the scheme help you?

The Gigabit Voucher Scheme aims to offer businesses a speedy internet connection through government vouchers of up to £2,500 which will be used towards the installation and set-up costs of an Ethernet connection.

The success of the scheme highlights how the demand for quicker connectivity has accelerated over the last few years and proves businesses are looking for the next step in reliable, future-proofing technology.

Those that have embraced superfast connectivity have reported numerous productivity benefits, so all types of businesses should be considering the funding if they are wanting to upgrade to a fast, reliable, safe and secure connection.

Are you eligible?

To be eligible for the GBVS scheme and to snap up your voucher before the funding runs out, you need employ fewer than 250 people and have an annual turnover that doesn’t exceed €50m. You cannot have been a beneficiary of the scheme ion the past, nor received more than €200m in public grants over the past three years.

Should you meet all of the eligibility criteria and you want to apply, simply find a registered supplier and sign up with them. Your supplier will then request the vouchers for you and then gets to work on delivering your new, upgraded, connection.

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Rebecca Stubbs
About Rebecca Stubbs