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Broadband & Business

Over 55,000 small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have taken advantage of the government's Broadband Connection Voucher Scheme, new figures have suggested.

The scheme, which aims to connect SMBs to superfast broadband, has now allocated all of the £40 million in funding made available since April 2015.

The government claims the rollout has helped businesses apply for grants of up to £3,000 each to cover costs of installing better broadband connections.

The vouchers not only help to connect businesses, but also offer a wide range of choice of broadband suppliers.

Over 800 suppliers have participated in the scheme so far, with 86% of those using vouchers opting for smaller suppliers around the UK.

Interestingly, only 14% of the vouchers used were accounted for by the 'big three' of Virgin Media, TalkTalk and BT.

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: "Our Broadband Connection Voucher Scheme has been a tremendous success.

"More than 55,000 small businesses across the UK have taken up the offer, many of which are already seeing significant boosts to their business as a result of improved broadband speeds.

"We’re transforming the UK’s digital landscape, helping cities to create new jobs and attract investment to make the UK an enviable business destination."

According to the government, businesses benefitting from a broadband connection through the scheme have secured average profits of £1,300 a year.

It added that a new job was created by every four new connections and that for every £1 of government money spent on the scheme earned more £5 for the economy.

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