New broadband voucher scheme for small rural businesses under consideration

Tuesday, February 28th 2017

The forthcoming 2017 Budget will most likely be formally announcing a more rural-focused connection voucher scheme to help small businesses in rural parts to install or upgrade to a superfast broadband (30Mbps+) connection. Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, will deliver his keynote address on 8th May on the government's Budget.

Apparently, a final decision is expected to be made on the reincarnated voucher scheme in the next few days. The government is looking to bring faster connectivity to public buildings and rural parts and then share the capacity with other ISPs.

The original voucher scheme had helped about 55,000 SMEs across UK, found in 50 cities, but that ended in 2015. However, subsequently numerous local authorities have launched their own voucher schemes. The government has been consulting upon a new scheme since December last year.

Chair of the Parliamentary Broadband Group, Ian Grainger MP, has said it is hugely important and vital to roll-out this scheme as fast as possible, as more and more people work now at home, in rural areas, and small businesses cannot run a business without high-speed broadband.

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