CityFibre will waive connection fee of up to £2,500 until 5 November, claiming some small businesses may have been caught “off guard”
CityFibre will waive the connection fee to its gigabit broadband services for eligible small businesses following the suspension of the government’s super connected cities voucher scheme last week.
Typically, the firm will charge up to £2,500 to connect a business to its network, but until 5 November, this fee will not apply in Aberdeen, Coventry, Edinburgh, Huddersfield, Peterborough and York.
The government’s voucher scheme offered grants of up to £3,000 to SMBs who wanted to get superfast broadband, but the money ran out last week after 40,000 businesses applied for the funding.
CityFibre SMB support
CityFibre was one of the providers that SMBs could get services from and says some firms may have been caught “off guard” by the suspension of the programme. CityFibre told TechWeekEurope last week it would support any future initiative aimed at accelerating adoption.
“We were great supporters of the government’s connection voucher scheme as a catalyst to encourage businesses to upgrade to ultra-fast services and more modern pure fibre networks,” said CityFibre’s director of operations James Thomas. “We are delighted to be able to help those businesses that have missed out on the voucher, giving them a final chance to get connected to transformational services on future-proof pure fibre infrastructure in the cities we serve.”
The super connected cities vision was originally intended to provide the winning cities with funds to build superfast broadband and public Wi-Fi networks. However following legal challenges from ISPs, this was watered down to a voucher scheme, although the Wi-Fi aspect has remained unaffected, with BT and Virgin Media building wireless infrastructure for city councils.
Under EU regulations, the government is forbidden from intervening in urban areas, so the existing Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) scheme aiding local authorities is limited to rural areas.
Funds were not ringfenced for individual cities and as of 25 August, the most vouchers had been handed out in London, with 11,664 SMBs in the capital taking advantage.
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