Gigabit broadband has never been easier to install, and with the world heading towards a more cloud-based future, it has never been more necessary. With the arrival of the Government’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme SMEs have an opportunity to upgrade. With an allocated £67 million, by November 2018, just £7.4m* of that had been claimed. Whilst that’s over 3,000 businesses taking the Government up on the offer so far, why hasn’t uptake been even greater? For those ‘in the know’ it’s a great scheme, but we’ve been thinking about the barriers and reasons why some SME’s haven’t been propelled into action on it.
What’s stopping businesses using the scheme?
Upgrading today not only prepares you for any future business expansion needs, but it also gives you a technological advantage over the competition. However, there continues to be nervousness around the scheme, which is surprising given the success of the previous iteration of this scheme back in 2013. Trying to understand the reasons why uptake has been slow so far could be down to:
- Low awareness of the scheme
- Confusion over eligibility
- Lack of clarity about changes made by the government
- Cost of installation
All valid reasons. Though not without an easy explanation. We’re here to set the record straight so you can take the important steps in bringing your business into the future and take advantage of this great offer before funds run out.
So what exactly is the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme?
The scheme, set up by the Government, is not only about realising their plan for a full-fibre Britain but is also helping to build stronger businesses. Qualifying SMEs can use the vouchers as long as the installation is making a ‘step change’ in their business. This vague phrasing might be putting people off the idea, but ‘step change’ is easily definable.
Let’s explain. A step change is the need to double your current speed, if you want to upgrade your connectivity to 1GB you would have to currently be taking less than 500Mbps. Upgrade speeds with M247 start at 100Mbps up to 1GB.
The most significant criteria is you must not currently have a Fiber to the Premise connection.
The voucher will cover some of the installation costs of a gigabit-capable connection to your premises. Some people are confused though since the Government has made some recent changes to the total value that can be claimed. Previously £3,000, now companies can claim up to £2,500 against the cost of connection. This allows even more businesses can take advantage of the scheme.
How gigabit broadband builds stronger businesses
Simply put, using copper telephone wires (ADSL connections) as a way to transmit broadband is outdated. Technology has improved massively, and there are more efficient ways to send data. 95% of the UK has ‘superfast’ broadband speeds of 24Mbps, and with full fibre connection you can now experience speeds of 1Gbps. This has vast implications for businesses who are going to need better internet to remain competitive in the future and meet the changing needs and demands placed on them.
A gigabit connection for your business means:
- Incredibly high-speed upload and download times, helping you work faster
- A resilient connection and reduced downtime, saving you money
- Increased productivity as employees can carry out high-capacity tasks simultaneously
- Helping you optimise your business with agile cloud computing so you can stay competitive and safe online
- Better communication via video conferencing and remote working, allowing for cost savings and increased productivity
With the ability to transform your business, and funding from the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t upgrade to gigabit technology today. Once the allocated funds are gone, they’re gone, so don’t wait around.
As a registered supplier of the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, M247 can help to future-proof gigabit connectivity to your businesses wherever you are in the UK. To find out more and check your eligibility, get in touch with our team Gigabitvoucher@m247.com or complete the form to request a call back.
*Source: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme update Supplier Bulletin 20th November 2018.