A new scheme has been launched in Warwickshire to enable eligible businesses and voluntary organisations to claim grants of up to £3,000 towards the cost of upgrading to superfast broadband. The Broadband Connection Voucher Scheme is now available to any business, charity or voluntary organisation and can cover both fixed solutions, usually fibre connections, or wireless solutions such as satellite or microwave broadband where fibre is not available.

Organisations are usually eligible if they employ fewer than 250 people and have a turnover of less than £41m per year. Even sole-traders or businesses run from home can apply, so the scheme is open as widely as possible.

The Broadband Connection Voucher Scheme will complement the broadband rollout under the CSW Broadband programme, and is administered by Coventry City Council, who have over 12 months’ experience of the voucher scheme in Coventry prior to its extension into Warwickshire.

It is very positive that this scheme is now open to organisations in Warwickshire and organisations are urged to apply as soon as possible. This voucher scheme will help those businesses who need support to connect to the new technologies, and will also help those in areas where the fibre network has not yet reached by contributing to the connection costs of satellite or microwave solutions. Warwickshire has a high number of small enterprises and businesses run from home, and it is important that these should be able to compete against larger businesses in an increasingly global economy.

The scheme has been running in Coventry for some time and so far over 300 vouchers have been issued, representing grants with a total value in excess of £500,000. Applying to the scheme is very straightforward and applications will be dealt with promptly, simply visit www.coventry.gov.uk/broadband

All enquiries about the scheme should be directed to Coventry City Council by emailing sccbroadband@coventry.gov.uk

Remember: A fibre connection may not be available in your area now, but the CSW Broadband network is expanding rapidly. It is a wholesale network that will offer a wide choice of Internet Service Providers, so if you are told that fibre broadband is not yet available in your area, check the CSW Broadband website for more information: http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk and of course, this voucher scheme also covers satellite or wireless solutions if you can’t wait for fibre!

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