Over the next few years, superfast and ultrafast broadband will change the world.
It is vital that our businesses are able to benefit from these changes, so at the end of January 2014 Coventry City Council is launching Super Connected Coventry, a scheme that will allow SMEs in the city to claim up to £3,000 (excl VAT) towards the connection costs associated with upgrading broadband.
We want to make you aware of the opportunity ahead of the full launch of the scheme.
The Council is currently in the process of developing the web pages required to support the launch but interested businesses can pre-register with the scheme here: https://www.connectionvouchers.co.uk/register-interest/
What is the scheme?
The scheme is funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and is part of the national Super Connected Cities and Superfast Britain initiatives.
Vouchers cover connection costs of between £250 and £3,000 and are paid to the registered supplier directly.
Vouchers can cover both fixed solutions (such as ethernet or a leased line) and wireless solutions (like satellite or microwave broadband). Businesses just pay the VAT, any amount over the value of the voucher, and the ongoing subscription cost.
At present, the scheme is only available to businesses who have trading addresses within the Coventry City Council Local Authority Area.
If your business premises are based in Warwickshire or Solihull then you are not eligible for this scheme specifically, but there is lots going on throughout the wider area to improve broadband, you can find out more details about these activities at: www.cswbroadband.org.uk
Benefits of Superfast Broadband:
There are real benefits for your business in taking a fast connection – how you use it will be unique to the way you do business. You could find:
- Better communication with customers and staff
- Reduced costs through more efficient working
- Improved data storage and accessibility
- Higher speed upload and download for large files
- Improved reliability of service
Across the world, businesses are signing up for faster, better quality connections and providers are launching new services that can only be accessed with a fast and reliable connection.
Who is eligible?
Your business must meet the following conditions to be eligible for a voucher. Your enterprise must:
- Be an active business, social enterprise or third sector organisation with your trading address located within the Coventry City Council Local Authority Area
- Employ fewer than 250 employees and have a turnover of less than £40 million
- Ask for a connection to upgrade your trading premises only – home-based businesses are eligible to apply but only if the majority of your business is carried out from home
- Be willing to sign up with a pre-qualified supplier for a minimum six-month contract term for either: a minimum 20+Mbps dedicated symmetrical solution that is upgradable and has Service Level Agreements attached to the contract, or, a minimum 30+Mbps contended service. Your existing connection must not be higher than 30Mbps
- Not have received more than circa £165,000 in public de minimis State Aid funding in the last three years.
Super Connected Coventry will launch in January 2014 (exact date to be confirmed). Once launched we will contact all businesses who have registered interest with details of how to apply. Please register your interest here: https://www.connectionvouchers.co.uk/register-interest/