Westminster City Council to offer broadband voucher scheme

In an effort to boost broadband take-up and upgrade, by businesses in London, the Westminster City Council has secured £2.8 million to fund a broadband connection voucher scheme. Connect Westminster, the new scheme, will offer small and medium enterprises an opportunity toe upgrade to ultrafast broadband connections. Some 1,000 local companies can apply for vouchers, up to £2,000 under the scheme, that can be shared or pooled by businesses using multi-occupancy offices, using their vouchers, with connections with a capability of at least 30Mbps and the condition that they can be upgraded in future.

This voucher scheme mirrors the similar previous scheme run nationally by the DCMS, but shut down in the autumn of 2015, after it spent all of its available funds, was considered a huge success and was thought to have added billions of pounds to the economy. Although London is ranked consistently as one of the cities most digitally advanced in the world, broadband connectivity lags behind in some central parts of London, with difficulty in accessing cloud applications, reported by businesses, in using VoIP systems, and for sending or receiving large data files and other such operations.

Deputy Leader of Westminster Council, Robert Davis, said Westminster, more that any other London borough, has more businesses and employees and is a national global centre of industry and employment. The councillor pointed out to the 47,165 business here with 697,400 jobs and a 14% employee growth expected between 2016 and 204, shows the contribution to London’s economy and they need ultrafast broadband to continue to be the best place to start and grow businesses in UK.

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