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If you’re not familiar with the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) scheme then it’s well worth a look. Set up by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport the purpose of the initiative is to deliver superfast broadband into small to medium enterprises and charities across the UK via generous grants towards installation costs.
Faster broadband doesn’t only mean things you were doing anyway work quicker, but exciting opportunities open up to improve business productivity, within your budget. Fundamentally, it’s a step towards future-proofing your business, what exists as a simple internet connection today, will also be your gateway to access new cloud-based services tomorrow.
As a registered supplier under the scheme we’re used to fielding questions about it. Here’s the five most common FAQ’s:
The government will pay up to £3000 towards the cost of installing a broadband connection. This is not a loan, it is however, before VAT. What’s more, the bulk of the cost is paid back from the government directly to the supplier so it won’t even effect your cash flow.
BDUK applies to 50 designated SuperConnected Cities, so is based on postcode first and foremost. Secondly, qualifying companies must have less than 250 employees and revenues less than £41m pa. Finally, organisations must not have received more than £120,000 in government grants in the last three years.
The initiative runs until 31st March 2016. Whilst it might sound like a long way off, typical lead times for new broadband connections take 65 working days, so to be certain to qualify make sure you’ve made your application by the end of the year.
Once you have confirmed your qualification you’ll need to formally source a quote from a registered supplier under the scheme. You’ll share this with the government and then receive a unique voucher code for up to £3000 towards the cost of install. The government pays the grant once the new broadband circuit goes live. You simply need to share the supplier invoice with the government, who in turn pays the supplier.
There are stipulations around the connection. If you’re currently on a business broadband connection, the expectation is that you step up to a 20MB fibre connection, with potential to upgrade to 30MB on the same circuit. If you have a fibre connection in place already the requirement is to double your current bandwidth.
Whether you’re familiar with the scheme already and want to place an order, or are looking for support negotiating your qualification and completing the necessary paperwork, we can help. Softcat has a dedicated team of connectivity experts whose advice is free and will help you navigate the system as quickly as possible.
Our approach to BDUK is somewhat different to other suppliers. We’ve carefully vetted our connectivity partners,and part of their selection is their integration into Softcat’s network, enabling us to provide a host of complementary converged services around voice and data, all using your new connection. This means customers who chose to work with Softcat have immediate access to a rich portfolio of services, enabled by the underlying Ethernet connection.
Softcat’s buying power with our partners is thanks to our position as one of the UK’s largest IT infrastructure providers and is matched by our exceptional track record in customer excellence. This means customers who install a new connection through Softcat, enjoy added peace of mind that any issue experienced through this process will be dealt with swiftly and with minimum fuss.
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