The Super Connected Cities scheme is now launched meaning mall businesses can claim up to £3,000 to help with the funding of faster or better broadband.
The scheme is backed with a £100 million pot of money from the government and is currently open to 10 cities across the UK, with a further 12 being included in early 2014. The 10 cities that the scheme is available today are: Belfast, Salford, Portsmouth, Cardiff, Derby, Bristol, Edinburgh, Newport, London and Manchester.
What the Super Connected Cities programme does is allow small and medium enterprise businesses (SMEs) to apply for grant of up to £3,000 each to help cover the cost of installing better and faster broadband connections which will mean that they can then offer customers a faster and better service. The hopeful knock on effect of this is that more jobs will also be created by these businesses due to the improved productivity that they will be hopefully able to offer and also because of the extra productivity then companies will hopefully also be able to deal more internationally with other countries too.
David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said:
“Up to £3,000 of broadband vouchers for small business in these cities is not only a massive boost for growth in the UK, but also has the potential to bring China to Cardiff, Brazil to Bristol and the Emirates to Edinburgh in an increased export market.”
The grants available are for between £250 – £3,000 but this is to help cover any installation or upgrade to a service that is capable of delivering broadband at 30Mb or higher. The monthly line rental charges from then on will have to be covered by the businesses.
SMEs can check if they can apply by going to the www.connectionvouchers.co.uk website there.
Plusnet (www.plus.net) have launched a new improved range of business broadband packages which includes business fibre broadband packages too which also come with a half price introductory offer to entice over business broadband customers.
Both the Plusnet broadband only and broadband & phone packages are available with the 6 months half price offer providing a 24 month contract is taken out and customers sign up before the 27th June 2013.
Although Plusnet have offered business broadband for years they have only just launched their business fibre broadband deals. For a broadband only option customers can choose the “Business Fibre Broadband” which offers up to 76Mb speeds with 50Gb monthly usage for £25 per month with the first 6 months just being £12.50 per month (both prices exclude the VAT) when a 24 month contract is taken.
The other option is the “Unlimited Business Fibre Broadband” which again offers up to 76Mb speeds but with Unlimited monthly usage for £35 per month with the first 6 months being half price at £17.50 per month when a 24 month contract is taken.
The same broadband only deals are available as a package with a phone and cost: “Business Fibre Broadband and phone” £23 per month with £11.50 a month for 6 months + £10.50 line rental or “Unlimited Business Fibre Broadband and phone” for £33 per month with the first 6 months at £16.50 plus £10.50 line rental.
Jamie Ford, from Plsunet, said:
“We pride ourselves on providing a stellar service, and we feel it is important that small businesses use a broadband package that meets their own promises to clients and customers. Many of our customer trialists discovered new and improved ways of working and we are confident that once people try a fibre broadband connection, they will see the instant benefits.”
Any of the business fibre broadband deals are available on either 12 or 24 month contracts, however to claim the 6 months half price users must sign up for the 24 month contract. Calls packages can be added on for £4 per month for UK anytime calls on the phone packages too.
All prices quotes are excluding the VAT to be added on.
Workers who plan to watch the World Cup games while in work are likely to put UK Broadband under a lot of strain according to broadband provider Eclipse Internet.
According to research by Eclipse Internet they found that over half of employees plan to watch World Cup games online while at work, with 54% saying that they plan on doing this.
The biggest potentially troublesome day over here in the UK is Wednesday 23rd June when England play Slovenia at 3pm in a group stage game when workers are still likely to be in work. The problems could arise if large number of employees all switch on live streaming websites to watch the football which could take up huge chunks of bandwidth and also impact a businesses internet connection.
Fortunately for employers this is only scheduled day so far that England are due to play a World Cup game during office hours, however employers are being advised to make up plans and rules surrounding watching the football games online. Obviously many employees will hope their boss isn’t that computer savvy and doesn’t block the websites where people can watch online such as the BBC iPlayer.
Eclipse Internet offer home and business broadband which includes fibre broadband which starts at £39.95 per month.
Eclipse Internet have boosted the download limits on its broadband packages and doubled what customers are able to use on both it’s home and business broadband packages.
The “Home Select” broadband package is perhaps the one that has been given the biggest boost, with monthly usage being upped from 10Gb per month to 50Gb. It also offers up to 24Mb broadband speeds and a free router for a cost of £19.95 per month and is aimed at the general internet user.
The “Home Pro” broadband package has also seen a big increase in data usage limits, jumping from 50Gb up to 100Gb and also having free overnight usage between 11pm and 9am. This comes with a free wireless router and also free evening and weekend phone calls to UK landlines at a cost of £29.95 per month, plus again providing ADSL2+ has been enabled customers can receive up to 24Mb broadband speeds.
The business broadband packages see the “Home Office Broadband” having usage upped to 10Gb for £14.95 per month, the “Business Bronze Broadband” getting 50GB usage for £19.95 per month and the “Business Silver Broadband” getting 100GB usage for £29.95 per month. All these packages also receive unmetered usage between 11pm and 9am.
The “Busienss Gold Broadband” package has stayed the same as this already offers true unlimited (NO fair usage policy) for £49.95 per month (all business broadband package prices ex.VAT)
Here at BroadbandWatchdog.co.uk we always much prefer broadband providers who make their monthly usage clear and don’t hind behind “fair usage policys” like so many do.
Eclipse Internet are one of the broadband providers who do make it clear how much usage you will receive, and in the case of their Unlimited broadband it is truly unlimited with no restrictions or fair use policies put in place over it.
A study done by the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) has found that some businesses would consider moving premises for a better broadband connection and that 8Mb should be the minimum broadband srpeed business should receive.
The study found that from the 1,300 small business that were queried around quarter (24%) of these were dissatisfied with their broadband service.
Of those that were dissatisfied, it found that 63% were not happy because of the broadband speed they received and the reliability of their broadband internet connection.
The importance of fast and reliable broadband can been seen with the fact that of those that were not satisfied with their business broadband that 13% of these companies have or would consider moving their business premises to an area where they would be able to received faster broadband and more reliable broadband.
The FSB has called for the Government to make broadband providers be obliged to provide a minimum broadband speed of 8Mb direct to business premises ahead of the Digital Economy Bill which is due to be debated in the House of Lords and is set to be put before the House of Commons on March 22nd.
The results of the FSB survey were as follows:
Satisfaction with broadband provision at business premises:
14% – Very Satisfied
44% – Fairly satisfied
19% – Neither
14% – Fairly dissatisfied
9% – Very dissatisfied
Of the 24% who said that they were dissatisfied to some degree, the results for their resons are:
63% – Unhappy with provide speed/reliability of connection
30% – The area where my business is based has unreliable broadband connection
17% – Unhappy with provider price
13% – Unhappy with provider customer service
6% – Speed/reliability of connection
4% – The rural area where my business is based has low speed
2% – Infrastructure/BT line does not meet speed/ reliability requirements
1% – Too far from exchange
With more and more businesses moving online and more parts of how businesses are run being through the internet a slow or un-reliable broadband connection could severely affect how a business operates.
Only earlier today we reported how the Tories are looking to offer 100Mb broadband across most of the UK in their Technology Manifesto if they were to be elected in the up-coming general election.
BT Business broadband customers who take up their new fibre broadband connections will receive a minimum 12Mb broadband speed guarantee from their up to 40Mb broadband speed connection.
For any customers who find that their business broadband speed drops below the 12Mb speed limit these customers can contact the BT 24/7 freephone help-desk where the problem will look to be fixed.
The BT Business Fibre broadband was announced very soon after the BT Infinity (BT’s home fibre broadband) was announced. This is to be made available to around 10 million UK homes by 2012.
BT Business Total Broadband Fibre starts at £30 (ex.VAT) per month. You can read more about that at BT Business Total Broadband Fibre.
Hot on the heels of the announcement of BT Infinity, the home fibre broadband offering from BT comes BT Business Total Broadband Fibre.
The BT Total Broadband Fibre is specifically aimed at business broadband users, it offers up to 40Mb broadband speeds and up to 10Mb upload speeds depending on which option you choose with prices starting at just £30 per month.
The “Fibre broadband” packages offers up to 40Mb downloads speeds and up to 2Mb upload speeds with unlimited usage (fair use policy applies) for £30 (ex.VAT) per month.
The “Fibre broadband Plus” service offers up to 40Mb download speeds and up to 10Mb upload speeds with unlimited usage (fair use policy applies) and also offers a priority fault resolution for £45 (ex.VAT) per month.
Both these also come with a £75 one off charge and are based on 24 month contracts. For anyone who wants a 12 month contract the price is an extra £5 per month.
There is also “Fibre broadband & phone line” deal coming soon which will offer a choice of either of the two previously mentioned fibre broadband deals plus a new business phone line and this will cost £44.45 (ex.VAT) per month and also a £174 one off charge.