According to data released by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), Local Full Fibre Network funding has been used successfully, bringing fibre to 18,846 small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) across the UK.

The Gigabit Voucher Scheme is part of the UK Government’s commitment to a full fibre Britain. Successful business applicants received a voucher to cover installation costs of up to £3000 and future-proof their businesses by switching to fibre broadband.

As of 13:00 on 14th May 2020, the LFFN element of the Gigabit Voucher Scheme closed to new applications, but the rural element is still open and has funding available until March 2021.

As one of the early adopters of the scheme, Glide is proud to have helped over 1,300 businesses across the UK upgrade their broadband. Glide was one of the original suppliers in the four local trial regions in November 2017 prior to the full national launch in March 2018. Through the scheme, Glide customers have saved over £3.5million on the cost of a full fibre installation. That’s why we were awarded SME Provider of the Year by Connected Britain in 2019 for ‘liberating customers from poor or lagging connectivity’.

Glide does complex things that the giants cannot, operating in areas that are difficult to access and difficult to service while enabling devices, buildings and cities to become smarter.

“As a service provider to many organisations who depend on the delivery of high-density and high-quality Wi-Fi, Glide recognises the accelerating pace of evolution and innovation.” 
Richard Jeffares, Glide CTO.

Gigabit broadband works out cheaper, more efficient and more reliable and for our customers, that makes a world of difference. As Birmingham based design and print agency Bluechilli rapidly grew, so did its need to secure a superfast connection.

Due to a slow connection, staff were having to factor in an hour for each file transfer, with only one person being able to use the internet at a time to send a file. The significant loss of productivity was a huge source of worry for Bluechilli’s creative director, Karl Wheeler: "Poor internet connectivity was really becoming a problem… we were missing print deadlines, or otherwise coming extremely close. An hour of time is money." Karl summed up: "We can’t be the company we are with a slow internet connection. Without Glide, I’m not too sure what we would have done." Read the full case study here.

Since February 2018, the Glide business broadband team will have connected 1300 businesses with ultrafast, gigabit-capable fibre broadband, from inner city businesses to rural sites. Our Dark Fibre Network provides 1500km of uncontended fibre, operating in 60 towns and cities, with planned deployment to 11 new fibre cities in 2020. Gigabit broadband means better connectivity and, in our increasingly digital workplace, businesses can’t afford to lag behind. With 40 percent of UK businesses now using cloud-based solutions employees don’t need the latest hardware at home to access cloud technology but they do need a fast and reliable connection. Cloud services are perfect for collaboration, allowing users to quickly and easily upload, store, access and download vast amounts of data without any lag in performance or productivity. When connected to ultrafast business broadband, the cloud offers the agility needed for organisations to optimise their products and customer service, and for workers to enjoy faster and more robust connections.

Good connectivity means quality, uninterrupted video conferencing and making sure client relationships can still be nurtured, team collaborations can continue to be effective and meetings can go on remotely. Reliable, quality video conferencing needs reliable, ultrafast broadband.

With such numerous benefits attached to business gigabit broadband, we envisage a lot of interest in the Rural Gigabit Connectivity scheme, which is currently due to run until March 2021. It has a £200m fund, of which £15.8m is already committed. One of the major differences is that requests for funding have to be project-based – addressing an aggregation of beneficiaries – rather than the single connections which the Gigabit Voucher Scheme funded. Another difference is that projects can incorporate any mixed combination of business and residential beneficiaries. Although entitled the ‘Rural Gigabit Connectivity scheme’, you don’t have to be surrounded by fields to be eligible - if you’re a business park looking to grow your productivity and business through ultrafast, reliable business broadband, Glide has the expertise, experience and product to help.