UK SMEs to benefit from government broadband programme

Small business in ten UK cities can now apply for broadband funding vouchers as part of the government’s Super-Connected Cities programme.


They can get vouchers for up to £3,000 as long as they employ fewer than 250 staff and have a turnover of below £40million.


The cities of Belfast, Portsmouth, Cardiff, Derby, Bristol, Edinburgh, Manchester, Newport, London and Salford can now apply for the funding.


Following a successful trial period earlier in 2013, the scheme will now be rolled out across the planned locations during the coming months.


A further 12 locations will be added in the New Year, including Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bradford, Brighton and Hove, Cambridge and Coventry.


Derry, Leeds, Newcastle, Oxford, Perth and York will also be added to the scheme which is designed to enable a better digital economy in the UK.


Giving ‘every possible advantage’ to small businesses


Prime Minister David Cameron believes this will help UK-based firms to obtain a vital edge and said a move towards faster digital technologies was vital as part of a wider restructuring plan by companies in the modern day.


“As part of our economic plan, I want to give our small businesses every possible advantage to compete in the global race – and also the flexibility to locate or set up right across the UK,” he explained.


“To do that we are working on a complete overhaul of the UK’s infrastructure; high-speed broadband is a vital part of this.”


He added that reliable connectivity was vital for improving customer confidence and will enable better levels of communication between businesses.


Such a move promotes the possibility of business expansion and provides many SMEs with opportunities to help lead the economic recovery in the UK.


The government has also announced £10m of funding for broadband trials to occur in rural areas, while also looking at the expansion of 4G services.


This will be key to driving improvements and assisting companies in their bids to expand and create new networking opportunities.


By Phil Smith


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