20 March 2019

Connect Total Joins UK Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme

Connect Total is pleased to announce its participation in the UK Government's "Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme".

This exciting announcement means that Connect Total is now registered, as one of only a small number of UK suppliers, to participate in the "Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme” and can install a full fibre connection to a businesses premises whilst the business avails of a voucher up to the value of £2,500 to cover the cost of the installation.

Why Do Businesses Need A Gigabit Connection?

With a fast, reliable internet connection an absolute must for successful businesses today, the importance of a fibre connection with Gigabit capacity cannot be under estimated. Until now most businesses in the UK have been accessing the internet over old copper wires, or at the very most, using what is commonly known as 'super fast broadband' which is essentially 'fibre to the cabinet' and then the last mile over copper wire.

speedThe downside of using copper wire for all or part of a business broadband connection is that copper wire can only achieve certain speeds for data transfer and is therefore limited in both the capacity it can carry and the speed with which the business can access the internet.

For many businesses this may be fine if they are simply using the internet to research information or post on social media, however, as more and more businesses move to Cloud-based services; have mobile staff moving around the Country (or further afield); and employ staff on a remote basis, the limitations of copper connections become obvious.

What Is The Gigabit Voucher Scheme?

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has recognised access to fast, reliable internet is a key driver in the future competitiveness of UK businesses and has therefore introduced the "Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme" to try and make the UK a fully fibre nation as soon as possible.

The "Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme" is a £67 million voucher scheme designed to help SME businesses across the UK to upgrade the capability of their internet connection to handle speeds up to 1 Gigabit per second. With average internet speeds in 2018 of 22.37Mbps (Mega Bits Per Second) the UK is well down the international rankings for broadband speeds so the move to 1,000Mbps (or 1 Gigabit per second) is a step change and shouldrocket help revolutionise how UK businesses access the internet and avail of the new technologies now available due to such fast data transfer speeds.

Often a businesses internet access is curtailed by very low upload speeds. Day-to-day their access to the internet may not seem overly slow due to download speeds around 20 to 30Mbps, however, where copper wire is particularly poor is when uploading or transferring files over the same connection. The good news about a fibre connection is that they are known as a “symmetrical” connection as both upload and download speeds can be the same. Companies with a fibre connection will therefore not have to worry about slow upload speeds again!

Is Your Business Eligible?

The following is a high-level summary of the eligibility criteria for the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme. Terms and conditions will apply to the award of any voucher by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, however, the following list will provide an initial indication if the scheme is something you should find out more about:

  • Your business must meet the EU standard definition of an SME (this is typically determined as a company employing less than 250 people and with an annual turnover below €50m)
  • Your business must not be a subsidiary of another company or under the control of a larger entity?
  • Your business should not have received more than a specific threshold of EU aid?
  • Your business must not already have a gigabit capable connection installed at its premises.

For a full list of terms and conditions, please visit the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport website.

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Two Key Points

As well as a business being eligible to apply for a Gigabit Broadband Voucher, there are specific requirements in terms of the type of connection being installed.

  1. The connection must immediately deliver a minimum of 100Mbps to the business premises and at least double the existing speeds being achieved.
  2. The connection must be capable of delivering broadband connectivity at or above 1Gbps (upload or download) at the time of delivery to the premises (and not through the use of additional hardware or software).

Next Steps

If your business is based in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland and you think a Gigabit Broadband connection could help your business to succeed, please get in touch by filling out the short form below. Once we receive this one of our business advisers will be in touch to discuss how the voucher scheme works and what you need to do to qualify for a £2,500 voucher to cover the cost of installing fibre at your premises.

Written By

Connect Total Communications

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