25 March 2015

Small and medium sized firms in the county will soon be able to access a voucher for up to £3,000 to improve their broadband connection and upgrade to superfast speeds thanks to Northamptonshire County Council.

From April, as part of the Government’s national Broadband Connection Voucher Scheme the county council is partnering with Coventry City Council to help eligible Northamptonshire businesses boost their broadband connectivity and take advantage of the benefits of doing business online.

The wider project

This is the latest initiative for the county council’s Superfast Northamptonshire project which is seeking to extend access to superfast broadband across the county by investing in new broadband infrastructure where its needed and encouraging the take up of superfast services.

Cllr Andre Gonzalez De Savage, county council cabinet member for strategic infrastructure and economic growth, said: “This is a great boost for Northamptonshire. I know how critical faster broadband is for business and I hope firms in the county will take advantage of this opportunity to get connected.

“A high speed broadband connection can transform a business, improving productivity and staff morale, saving time, enabling innovation and leading to growth.

“Superfast broadband can enable businesses to engage with their customers and suppliers more quickly, reliably and in different ways, whether this is video conferencing with a customer anywhere in the world, using social media to reach a much wider audience, transferring large data files in seconds not hours, or enabling online ordering and payment systems.”

The vouchers are being made available through the Department for Culture, Media & Sport’s Superfast Britain programme which is overseen nationally by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK).

The scheme has previously not been available in Northamptonshire. By teaming up with eligible city Coventry, the county council has ensured that Northamptonshire businesses can take advantage of the connection vouchers.

A total of £40m has been made available by Government nationally in 2015/16 for this extension of the scheme, with the vouchers available on a first-come, first-served basis.

From April 1, Northamptonshire-based businesses can find out if they are eligible on the Business Voucher page on the Superfast Northamptonshire website where there is more information about the initiative and guidance on how to apply. Vouchers will be issued by Coventry City Council which is administering the scheme on behalf of the county council.