Rural Businesses Receive Vouchers To Boost Broadband
£3,000 worth of vouchers will be given to rural-based businesses in the hope that broadband providers will increase their offering in those areas
Rural small businesses will receive up to £3,000 worth of broadband vouchers in a new government initiative aimed at increasing connectivity in smaller areas.
Expected to be announced at the next budget on March 8 2017, its hoped the move will benefit tens of thousands of businesses who are currently subjected to poor internet access and slow online speeds.
Similar to a previous scheme that ceased in October 2015, the vouchers will be used as an incentive for broadband providers to step up their offering in affected areas, and its hoped firms will group together to maximize spend.
It’s envisioned the move will help the government reach its goal of providing internet speeds of 10mbps to every UK citizen, as a legal right, by 2020.
Just last January, it was revealed that slow broadband was the biggest time waster for small businesses, with one third believing faster online access would help accelerate their growth.
A second government plan is also expected to announce the roll out of better broadband services in local schools, GP surgeries and libraries.
Ian Liddell-Grainger, the Tory MP who chairs a parliamentary rural broadband group, said:
“Every party in the UK has been saying this needs to be rolled out as fast as possible. It is hugely important and absolutely vital.
“The percentage of people who now work at home in rural areas is going up massively. Small businesses nowadays have to have high-speed broadband. You can’t run a business without it.”
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