Sarah Newton, the Conservative MP for Truro and Falmouth, has welcomed today’s news that a government project to help businesses and homes connect to full-fibre broadband is to be extended across the UK.
Tens of thousands of businesses and homes, including in Cornwall, are set to benefit from the £67million investment announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond.
The Nationwide Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme (GBVS) is set to launch at the end of March.
It will provide vouchers worth up to £3,000 for small or medium-sized businesses and £500 for residents to help with the costs of connecting to full-fibre broadband.
Mrs Newton said: “A fast and reliable broadband service is crucial for businesses, particularly in rural areas like Cornwall.
“So many tasks are now done online and faster connectivity helps businesses to remain productive and competitive while creating better, higher-paying jobs.
“Individuals also benefit in so many ways, whether it’s searching for the best deals, increasing learning opportunities for young people or tackling loneliness by enabling us to connect with family and friends on the other side of the world.
“I would encourage people to visit the project website at https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/ to find out more, and in particular consider setting up a local community group where businesses and residents can link together to secure vouchers.”
The project, which was first trialled in four areas late last year, forms part of the government’s commitment to make full-fibre broadband available to at least 10 million businesses and homes by 2022.
Mr Hammond said: “We’re backing Britain’s small businesses by investing £67million to bring full-fibre broadband to more businesses up and down the country.”
“This means faster, more reliable broadband access as we build the digital infrastructure we need to make our economy fit for the future.”
Businesses and residents can secure vouchers from a registered supplier, whether as a new or existing customer.
The only way residents can benefit is as part of a local community group, which must also include small businesses.