Government Voucher Scheme
Government vouchers of up to £3,000 are now available for your business, to enable you to upgrade your internet access.
The grant provides for the one-off installation cost for faster broadband or ethernet connections. Move to NGA (Next Generation Access) broadband with FTTC (Fibre To The Cabinet); Fibre WiMAX over microwave; or a dedicated ethernet leased line connection. Stay competitive and take advantage of a superfast connection to cloud services and the huge commercial benefit this technology can offer.
The government have renewed the scheme which runs until 31st March 2016. There are 50 cities in the UK involved in the scheme.
1. Don’t Delay
Fast, reliable internet access is essential for UK businesses to develop their operations and competitiveness at home and abroad. For 2014/15 the government established a fund of £150 million for connection vouchers. The fund has been supplemented by a further £40 million for the current year. Vouchers up to £3,000 can be claimed by smaller organisations towards the one-off cost of installing a superfast upgrade to their internet access service.
Businesses need to act fast. The scheme will close on 31st March 2016, or when funds run out – whichever is the sooner.
2. Who is eligible for Connection Vouchers ?
Small and medium sized businesses can apply. They must employ less than 250 employees and have an annual turnover of less than €50 million. Also included in the scheme are sole traders, registered charities and not-for-profit organisations.
The connection must be to business premises. If you are a home-based worker, you are also eligible. If you work from home occasionally, you are not eligible. You must also commit to a minimum 6 month service contract.
You must select a service that delivers a step change in bandwidth speed:
- For NGA (Next Generation Access) connections, there has to be a minimum of 30Mbps download speed. This must be at least double any existing bandwidth. Normally this can be achieved with an FTTC connection.
- If a business grade service such as Fibre WiMAX (microwave) or dedicated ethernet leased line, is selected then this must deliver a minimum bandwidth of 20Mbps and which must also be a doubling of any existing service (unless the end-user is upgrading from an NGA service to business grade).
For full details, download the government’s “Guidance for Applicants” from the government website – www.connectionvouchers.co.uk.
3. How much can I apply for and what costs can be included?
Between £100 and £3,000 towards the one-off installation and connection charge.
If you are a tenant on a business park or in an office complex and there are other companies who might also be interested in benefiting from this government initiative, it is possible to submit a joint application, with each individual tenant able to claim up to £3,000. So, if the charges of a connection upgrade to the site are significant, it is possible for these costs to be apportioned between the joint applicants.
Allowable costs include (but are not limited to) :
- Planning, survey, site preparation, installation and commissioning fees
- Provision of building entry points – drilling, trunking, tray-work, cable and jointing
- Supporting structures including poles, mountings, brackets and any civil works
- Power supplies equipment to support network electronics and optics
- Copper, fibre optic and coaxial cables, antenna radomes and related ancillaries
- In-building wiring on the network side (e.g. multi-tenanted buildings)
- Legal costs related to wayleaves or other easement rights
Non-allowable costs include :
- Connection costs to basic broadband technologies
- Cancellation fees for any pre-existing connection
- Cabling on the local area network side of the customer router or any historic network related costs
- Inter-site connectivity
Operational expenditure and overheads, other than those which are a direct incremental, one-off cost associated with the high-speed installation
4. What do I have to pay ?
Any costs in excess of £3,000 will have to be paid for by the end-user. You will have to pay the VAT element of the installation charge (which can be reclaimed if you are registered for VAT). You will pay the ongoing monthly service subscription.
5. How to claim your voucher
Click on the following link Enter your postcode below to check your eligibility: - www.connectionvouchers.co.uk.
- If you are located in an eligible postcode, get an indicative quote from us – fill in the “Contact Us” form on the right of this page, or telephone us.
- Complete the online Application Form which we will provide and submit this, together with our quote, to your local City Council and they will approve your application. We can advise you on how to complete the Application Form and provide you with a contact name, relevant department address and a telephone number.
If your application is approved, you will receive confirmation and a voucher entitling you to the grant. Contact us within 28 days of receiving the voucher and we will take it from there.
Take Advantage of The Cloud
Polaris Telecoms specialise in providing high performance, internet access solutions for organisations across the UK. Our business grade network is optimised for commercial users, enabling them to take advantage of data, cloud computing, WAN connections, VoIP and video conferencing.