Through the scheme SMEs can claim up to £3,000 against the cost of full fibre connection, either individually or as part of a group project. Residents can also benefit from the scheme as part of a group project and can claim for a voucher of £500.
Full fibre networks are the future and getting ready for a gigabit speed is a key step for most businesses.
Demand for greater and greater digital connectivity is set to accelerate in future years and full fibre connections will be able to support that demand: Online business applications and internet connected devices; cloud data storage, cyber security systems and back-ups; streamed services such as video and music; voice and video conferencing; and flexible working for employees with access to company systems.
Who can apply?
The scheme is available for small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs). A small to medium sized enterprise is defined as one that employs fewer than 250 people and has an annual turnover not exceeding €50 million, and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding €43 million. This includes sole traders. You must not have received more than the permitted amount of de minimis aid in the last 3 years.
How does it work?
The scheme is only accessible through broadband service providers who have registered to be part of the scheme, so businesses/community groups interested in benefitting from a voucher should:
- Check whether they are eligible for a voucher here.
- Then check whether there are registered suppliers in the area using the postcode search here. (Businesses/community groups can also talk to existing suppliers to see if they are participating in the scheme.)
Vouchers are issued to the supplier only to offset the cost of installation to your premises.
The chart below shows the step-by-step process that each voucher recipient will go through to activate their voucher: