The government has granted Welsh businesses a funding boost, allowing them to apply for up to £5,500 worth of funds to install Gigabit broadband on their premises.
A combined effort between the Welsh and UK governments, the investment is aimed at bolstering broadband connectivity in some of Wales’ most rural areas, whilst also lowering costs for exiting companies to encourage them to take advantage of faster networks and conduct better business.
Presently, Welsh companies can only apply for up to £2,500 to aid the installation of Gigabit internet connections. However, with the new voucher scheme, an additional £3,000 will be available to businesses, and up to £300 for individual residential premises.
Margot James, UK Minister for Digital, said: “This exclusive scheme for Welsh businesses and communities is a vital part of our modern Industrial Strategy and build a Britain that is fit for the future.
“Working with the Welsh Government, together we can make sure that everyone in Wales has the connectivity they need for the digital age.”
Superfast broadband is already available throughout Wales, but the introduction of this initiative will provide support and coverage to the 5 per cent of the country which is lacking in speed and reliable connectivity.
Deputy Minister for Economy, Lee Waters, commented: “This voucher scheme can provide a vital funding source for group connectivity projects and could be of great benefit to communities currently without access. I’m pleased we’ve been able to work with the UK Government to provide an enhanced scheme for Wales, taking into account the particular challenges we face here with geography and the location of premises.”
The UK government will deploy its Universal Service Obligation initiative from 2020 onwards which will make superfast broadband connection a legal right for all British homes and businesses. To support this, the two governments have set aside £200 million pounds and aim to connect 733,000 Welsh premises to fast broadband speeds in due course.