BT News

Bristol businesses offered grants of up to £3,000 for super-fast internet

Press release   •   Feb 11, 2014 00:00 GMT

Businesses in Bristol were today urged to take advantage of the government’s ‘Broadband Connection Voucher Scheme’ to help reduce the cost of super-fast internet connections. 

The Broadband Delivery UK initiative provides city councils with additional budget to offer small and medium companies grants of up to £3,000 towards connection and construction charges* for a range of services from suppliers including BT Business. 

Bristol is one of 12 UK cities where the scheme is already available. The others are: Belfast, Cardiff, Coventry, Edinburgh, Derby, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Newport, Portsmouth and Salford. 

A further ten cities are planning to join the scheme by the end of March: Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bradford, Brighton and Hove, Cambridge, Derry/Londonderry, Leeds, Oxford, Perth and York. 

Once a business has checked they are eligible via their local city council, and understood the full terms and conditions of the programme, they will need to complete an application form. They will then receive a provisional offer regarding the amount of funding they can expect, following an assessment by the city council, and be asked to get quotes from two providers. 

Mayor of Bristol, George Ferguson, said: “Super-fast business broadband is vital to ensure the successful growth of Bristol’s economy. Many small and medium sized businesses, particularly those who are part of the city’s thriving creative industry, increasingly rely on high-speed internet access for their success. 

“This new voucher scheme is incredibly important as it will encourage more businesses to benefit from this advanced technology and help firms which may otherwise find the cost prohibitive.” 

Jon Reynolds, BT’s South West regional director, said: “This exciting scheme is a vital step forward for small and medium firms in Bristol. It will allow even more businesses to take advantage of the huge benefits offered by super-fast internet connections. 

“Businesses can use the technology to boost their competitiveness, work more efficiently, attract new customers or strengthen relationships with existing customers. Every Bristol firm that switches to faster broadband is good news for the city.” 

In order to qualify, businesses must be a small or medium sized enterprise (SME) as defined by the European Commission: employ between 1 and 249 persons, with an annual turnover not exceeding €50 million or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding €43 million**. 

For further details about the scheme and how BT Business can help, please visit www.bt.com/BDUKvoucher 

Ends 

Notes to editors 

* The grant is for between £250 and £3,000. The voucher cannot be put towards monthly rentals. Businesses pay the VAT, any amount over £3,000 and the monthly subscription cost. Terms and conditions apply. 

**The business property must be located within the participating City Council local authority area. The address must be the registered office or trading address of the SME business (if they work from a residential property as their main business base they can still apply). Registered charities, social enterprises and sole traders that meet the SME criteria below are welcome to apply. Terms and conditions apply.