It has been revealed that the government has suspended its voucher scheme for business broadband installations.
The government’s voucher website has posted a message saying that the scheme has been suspended because the majority of the funding has been allocated. It also states that cities that have been running the scheme will not be accepting new applications.
Companies have been able to apply for a business broadband installation grant worth up to £3,000, with the vouchers designed to cover the cost of installing faster, better quality broadband. Digital minister Ed Vaizey was urging companies just last month to apply quickly for them.
The original closing date for the voucher scheme was set to be March 2016; however, it was expected that the funding would run out earlier. By September this year around 40,000 businesses had successfully applied for grants and the same month saw 1,000 new applications made each week.
More than 11,500 grants have been made to companies based in London, which is the highest number in any region. This is followed by the north-west, with more than 6,300 grants, and then Yorkshire and Humberside, with more than 5,700 vouchers allocated.
There was a lot of criticism in the early days of the scheme because it was very slow to get started; however, a cash boost for the scheme in December last year gave it a bit of a boost and more cities were added so that more companies could apply. Originally only 22 cities were part of the scheme, but in the end more than 50 were taking part.