Faster broadband boosts NE businesses

More than 1,200 companies in the north-east have benefited from the government’s scheme to improve broadband services around the country.

More than 40,000 SMEs in the UK have applied for a connection voucher to install superfast business broadband and more than 1,200 of these are located in the north-east. The latest figures reveal that the last few months have seen a strong demand for the vouchers; however, there is a time limit on applications.

The government made £40m available for the current financial year and companies are being urged to apply as soon as possible, as the scheme operates on a first-come, first served basis. Funds are now available in all areas and it has been revealed that more than 1,000 applications are being submitted each week.

The Go Digital Newcastle project is being overseen by the city council. Businesses throughout the region can now apply and a maximum amount of £3,000 is available to cover the cost of installation of superfast business broadband. Local councillor Ged Bell said he is pleased to hear that the Go Digital Newcastle project has been a success, adding that it has been “a real economic boost to businesses in Newcastle and across the region.”

The figures also show that more than 2,000 businesses in Scotland have applied for vouchers, with a similar figure in Wales taking advantage of the scheme. So far the highest uptake has been in London, with nearly 12,000 businesses submitting an application.