BDUK voucher scheme is at the heart of M247’s offer to boost SME connectivity
A government grant scheme has formed the basis of connectivity deals being offered by M247, a data centre and Internet infrastructure company. The deals target the privileged users in the 22 “superconnected cities” across the UK.
Ed Vaizey, UK Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, said that businesses expect and demand faster broadband to enable them to compete in global markets. The introduction of the vouchers under the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) Urban Broadband Fund scheme is aimed at encouraging and helping SMEs to set up or step-up their businesses in areas where the highest speed broadband connections are available.
While the economy is in recovery mode, the costs involved in fulfilling the government’s commitment to make Britain a world leader in Internet technologies has raised the bar for SMEs in larger cities. The voucher, worth a minimum of £250 and maximum of £3,000 per application, will allow qualifying businesses, voluntary services, social enterprises and charities to make major improvements to their Internet connectivity, either by upgrading or by installing a completely new system.
The voucher scheme is technology neutral and therefore puts connectivity options into the hands of the businesses and enables companies like M247 to add value to the offering with services that exceed the basic connectivity.
M247 is offering fixed cost installation of fibre to the premises (FTTP), fibre to the cabinet, fibre on demand, Ethernet first mile, microwave, leased line, and generic Ethernet access but customers will be responsible for VAT and ongoing costs.
Qualification is determined according to EC definitions of SMEs and applicants must sign up for services delivering over 30Mbps, with certain provisos, for a minimum of six months.
M247 commented, “With one of the most extensive private networks in the UK, M247 is well placed to service this scheme in each of the cities and has a broad range of the latest connectivity technologies that go way beyond what’s generally understood as ‘broadband’.”