Last opportunity for business broadband boost

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More than 250 small and medium businesses (SMEs ) across the Derry City and Strabane District Council area have now benefited from the Government’s Broadband Connection voucher scheme.

The scheme, which helps SMEs get connected to superfast broadband has seen a surge in demand in recent months but time is running out for business to take advantage of the scheme.

Head of Business with Derry City and Strabane District Council, Kevin O’Connor explained how £40m was made available across the UK for the scheme and vouchers were issued on a first come first served basis. Funds have not been ring-fenced for individual cities so all eligible businesses across the Derry and Strabane area are being encouraged to apply before the funds are exhausted.

He explained: “The scheme allows businesses to apply for grants of up to £3,000 each to cover the costs of installing faster and better broadband. The scheme has helped a huge variety of businesses to date, including Walled City Brewery, Nuprint Technology, St. Elmos Veterinary Clinic, Claritas Software and Visit Derry.

He said small businesses who choose to sign up to avail of faster connection broadband can benefit from increased security through fast secure backup of data, increased productivity and improved customer service through faster upload and download speeds and growing and accessing new markets through better communication with customers and suppliers.

“This is a fantastic offer for local businesses and we are delighted with the interest shown so far. We will be actively encouraging more local businesses to sign up and not miss out on this fantastic offer,” he added.

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said:“Our offer to small businesses has been a tremendous success and is proving incredibly popular. More than 40,000 businesses - including more than 257 from Derry~Londonderry, have already taken up our offer which is aimed at boosting both their broadband speeds as well as their bottom line. Businesses need to act now to ensure they don’t miss out on this fantastic offer and I’m urging all eligible businesses to apply now before it’s too late.”

For more information about the scheme visit http://www.derrystrabane.com/SuperConnected/About-Connection-Vouchers