A Northampton company has been the first firm in the county to take up grant funding to get a superfast broadband connection.
The scheme, launched by Northamptonshire County Council’s Superfast Northamptonshire project, is funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Firms can apply for a voucher of up to £3,000 to improve their broadband connection.
In the first three months more than 135 applications were received and almost 100 vouchers were issued to local businesses, to the value of about £75,000.
Complete Safety Systems in Northampton was granted a voucher worth £800 in May and used this to upgrade their broadband to a superfast service. Choosing Blue Global as their supplier and being connected in June, the company is now benefitting from a service with download speeds of up to 80Mbps.
Complete Safety Systems specialise in safety design solutions focused on the pharmaceutical industry. The company was only getting 13Mbps and were keen to improve their broadband speed and work more efficiently. The whole process from being contacted by Blue Global, submitting the application, and to being connected took two months.
Hollie St John Clare, Finance Manager for Complete Safety Systems said: “The Broadband Connection Voucher Scheme has enabled us to work with internet speeds more than triple those we previously had. We found the application process simple and worry free. Blue Global were brilliant.”
Kamran Ali for Blue Global said: “The Government voucher scheme has been invaluable in driving our success in the Coventry and Northamptonshire area. The support team for the voucher scheme were exceptional in providing a next day voucher turnaround for Complete Safety Systems. This not only allowed us to turn around the order in 5 weeks but has given us the confidence to target larger opportunities and businesses such as the Sywell Aerodrome in Northamptonshire.”
DCMS has allocated £40m to the Broadband Connection Voucher Scheme nationally. The vouchers are available on a first-come, first-served basis and due to high demand it is recommended that businesses do not delay and apply now.
Councillor Andre Gonzalez De Savage, county council cabinet member for strategic infrastructure and economic development said: “Access to superfast broadband is critical for business growth and productivity in all rural and urban areas. That is a key reason for the county council’s multi-million pound investment in broadband infrastructure through the Superfast Northamptonshire project. The Voucher Scheme complements this.
“It is a great opportunity for local companies to benefit from a faster connection, whether on their own or by pooling vouchers with neighbouring businesses. Businesses can start making the most of internet enabled technology like Cloud computing and the efficiencies this brings.”
Northamptonshire-based small or medium sized business which are interested in finding out more about the scheme and how to apply can visit the Superfast Northamptonshire website at www.superfastnorthamptonshire.net/business-voucher.
Vouchers will be issued by Coventry City Council which is administering the scheme on behalf of the county council.