The scheme is set to run until the end of 2015, however, the ring-fenced funding is looking to run out by October. The scheme is available in the following cities:
|Brighton and Hove||Leicester||Salford|
|Cardiff||Manchester||Southend on Sea|
|Coventry||Milton Keynes||Stoke on Trent|
How much will you get?
If you qualify you could get a voucher worth between £200 and £3,000 excluding VAT.
How do you know if you are eligible?
You will be eligible if:
- You are an SME (Small or Medium sized Enterprise), Charity or Social Enterprise
- You are located in an eligible area in one of the cities listed above
- Your connection will cost more than £100 – if it is less you will not qualify for a voucher
- You are asking for a connection to your business premises. If your main work base is at home you can have a connection there, but not if you just work from home occasionally
- You are willing to sign up to a minimum 6 month contract with your supplier
- You select a service that is capable of delivering 20Mbps or higher – there are some detailed requirements on speed that you should check before applying
- You have not received more than approximately £120k in grants in the last three years
What type of connection can I get?
The scheme is designed to be completely technology neutral for all wired and wireless services available at the present time. The key criterion for the grant is that the solution must deliver a “step-change” in the business connectivity. In order to meet the definition of step-change, the following conditions must apply for either Next Generation Access (NGA) or Business-Grade connections:
|Next Generation Access connections||Must offer a minimum download speed of 20Mbps. If a Next Generation Access connection such as FTTC (Fibre-to-the-Cabinet) for example, already exists at the applicants business premises, then the upgrading of the NGA-based service must deliver at least double the existing download speeds.|
|Business Grade connections||
Must have both of the following characteristics:
What costs does the Voucher cover?
The grant covers the cost of the installation only. It cannot be used to cover the costs of the ongoing annual service charges. Typically this would be:
|Network side:||The downstream port from the nearest active switching/routing device to a customer’s Network Termination Equipment (NTE); and|
|Customer side:||The customer-side ports (or wireless antenna) of the Network Termination Equipment (NTE) to which a Network Communication Equipment (NCE) is connected.|
This could include:
- Site connection charges and excess construction charges
- FTTX services or typically a 100Mbps Ethernet bearer with a minimum 20Mbps throughput
- Wireless radio link
- Network hardware
What costs are NOT covered by the Voucher?
- Cabling and internal wiring at the customer site
- ADSL, ADSL2+, non-enhanced Cable, Satellite, or UMTS
- Cancellation charges on an existing connection