The Welsh government Business Minister Edwina Hart has announced she is extending the highly successful Broadband Support Scheme which is tackling and eradicating broadband notspots in Wales.
The Scheme provides a grant of up to £1,000 to residents, businesses and third sector organisations in broadband notspots to enable them to obtain a broadband connection using the most appropriate technology available.
The £2m project launched in 2010 was due to end this financial year but Mrs Hart is now extending the project to ensure the Welsh Government can respond to individuals with immediate broadband issues.
It will operate in parallel to the Next Generation Broadband for Wales (NGBW) project which will bring high speed broadband to homes and businesses that the market will not reach unaided.
The NGBW project is on track to identify a winning bidder in March 2012, with the roll out of infrastructure beginning later that year, and concluding in 2015.
Mrs Hart said the Broadband Support scheme has been very successful and to date more than 2000 applications have been approved with a further 230 being assessed.
“It is filling a real need and making a difference to individuals, businesses and communities enabling them to participate in the benefits of the digital age.
“Terminating the Broadband Support Scheme in March 2012 could leave a potential gap in our ability to support people with immediate broadband issues. I am therefore pleased to announce we are extending the scheme to provide continuity during the early roll-out of next generation broadband and will continue to review the relevance of the Broadband Support Scheme during this period.”
To date 2,038 applications have been approved, which includes funding for sixteen community schemes covering 918 homes, representing a financial commitment of £1,662,709.
A further 232 applications are currently being assessed with interest from another ten community schemes (covering 1,055 potential applicants).
The Scheme will allow individuals, businesses and communities in Wales’ remaining broadband slowspots to approach service providers directly, with support of Welsh Government funding.
Who can apply for support?
- 3rd sector organisations
- broadband connectivity which is less than 2Mbps.
You will not be able to apply for this Scheme if you have received funding from a previous publicly funded broadband scheme or you do not meet the scheme eligibility criteria.
How much support can I apply for?
Support will be available for up to a maximum of £1,000 for individual premises.