Telecoms service company HighNet has been confirmed as the only Scottish-based, Government-approved supplier for a scheme to help businesses install gigabit broadband.
HighNet is one of 17 companies so far confirmed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport to be part of a £2 million trial taking place in four areas around the UK, including Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
Under the scheme, suppliers will be offering vouchers worth between £500 and £3,000 each to local businesses which can then be used to pay for the installation of gigabit (Gb) speed connections. The aim of the pilot is to encourage the market to extend full fibre infrastructure in the UK by increasing demand and reducing the cost to customers.
The vouchers will cover the normal charges for installation, including hardware and on-site engineer visits. Businesses can also pool their vouchers to help build clusters of connectivity and further reduce costs.
HighNet, which manages more than 17,000 business lines across the UK, will work to provide connectivity with infrastructure provider CityFibre, the UK’s builder of Gigabit Cities and the national alternative provider of wholesale full-fibre network infrastructure.
David Alldritt, technology and innovation director at HighNet, said: “We are delighted to be a Government-approved supplier for this landmark scheme which will bring the benefits of gigabit broadband to a range of businesses.”
Gb connectivity will allow firms to upload and download huge files in seconds and future-proof businesses in the face of ever-increasing demands for internet speed and connectivity. It will also allow companies in remoter areas to compete with those based in cities where full fibre connectivity may already be installed.
Four areas across the UK will pilot the scheme to test infrastructure conditions – Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire; Bristol, with Bath and North East Somerset; Coventry and Warwickshire and West Yorkshire Combined Authority (Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds, Wakefield and York)
The test phase will end when the money is used up, or by the end of March 2019, whichever is sooner.