SuperConnected or Super Disconnect?
If you are a small to medium sized UK business, you’ll be aware of the UK Government’s Connection Vouchers. Or will you?
As of yesterday, the SuperConnected cities scheme has extended to include a further 28 cities and with a total pot of £150million. The aim is to upgrade 95% of business premises to faster, fibre broadband.
Yet, here we are on 2nd April, amazed by the number of businesses who have never heard of it. It even got a mention in George Osborne’s 2015 Budget speech!
A BBC article in September of last year highlighted that since it’s launch to the original 22 cities, only £7.5m out of a £100m pot had been spent with just 3000 businesses benefitting, falling short of the 200,000 small businesses target. A recent update on the Government website updates that figure to 14,000 small businesses. That being the case and assuming each of those businesses was eligible for the full grant, that still means the pot is still brimming with opportunity.
There’s no doubt that the wider fibre broadband initiative is gaining momentum where the Government are able to just implement it. Yet, it seems that the grant of up to £3k to speed up your broadband has gone unnoticed by a huge proportion of the business community. And it doesn’t make sense.
If you imagine your connectivity as a narrow tube – you can only squeeze so much through. The Government is offering businesses the money to widen that tube so that more businesses have faster and future proof Internet.
Let’s be clear though. The vouchers are not the story. The story is what the vouchers buy for you and what that will do for your business and in turn, the UK.
Companies who embrace more innovative ways of working grow stronger and faster. There’s a multitude of studies in the UK, Europe and across the pond that reinforce it and we are seeing it with our own clients.
Whether better connectivity is the ticket for accessing cloud solutions, improving multi-site communication or for providing a better service to your own employees and customers, it simply helps businesses meet objectives.
These vouchers give businesses the opportunity to benefit from the new technology infrastructure. Business growth is good news for everybody, whether locally or internationally. And the grant of up to £3k goes a seriously long way to making it happen.
So why is more noise not being made about it? Why are businesses either unaware or unmotivated?
It could be that the business community thinks that this is a voucher for something they already have, or that it’s a voucher that will end up costing them more.
Yet in our experience, that’s simply not the case. There is always room for improvement and if the government is offering to contribute, it makes sense to take advantage of it, if for no other reason than to future proof your business.
Inspired by the success of cities like Leeds and London where take up has been fantastic and rewarding, we’ll be shining a light on this opportunity over the next couple of months. We’ll explain how it works, the options and demonstrate some of the ways our own clients have benefitted.
If you can’t wait till our next blog, you can swing back a day on our blog and read our handy guide, or give our friendly team a shout and we’ll fill you in.