Press Release

London-based Managed Services Provider, Backbone Connect, has called on all SMEs in the London Borough of Westminster to urgently investigate whether they could benefit from new Westminster City Council-awarded funding of up to £2,000 to improve their internet connectivity.

Each eligible business could receive this funding towards the upgrade or installation of a new gigabit-capable broadband connection as part of the new Connected Westminster scheme to improve the internet connectivity for businesses in the borough, launching on August 3rd 2017.

It is estimated that poor internet connectivity costs the UK economy more than £11bn every year in lost productivity, and a 2016 study for EEF found that poor internet connections are the biggest threat to growth . The Westminster City Council sees the provision of futureproof broadband as essential to help businesses improve productivity and break down barriers to growth.

With more than 46,000 businesses operating in the borough and only 1,250 grants available, the scheme will be limited to early applicants.

As one of the connectivity suppliers approved by the City of Westminster Council under the scheme, Backbone Connect is therefore making an urgent call for all Westminster SMEs to check immediately whether they are eligible to secure funding.

David McLeod, Director at Backbone Connect, said: “Poor digital connectivity has a very real effect on productivity and, for many businesses, is proving to be a barrier to future growth. Upgrading connectivity to these 1GB connections can power improvement in business productivity, eliminate the frustrations around slow connections, widen the scope of what is possible, and will support growth. With Westminster City Council covering installation costs – combined with Backbone Connect’s range of connectivity options and upgrades – businesses should grab this chance to make themselves more competitive.”

To help businesses benefit from the scheme, Backbone Connect has launched a five-step plan that businesses can follow to check eligibility and secure funding.

Backbone Connect is aiming to make it easy for businesses to benefit from the scheme. Its five-point plan consists of:
• Call the Backbone Connect’s dedicated Connection Voucher Support Line on 020 3130 9470 to check eligibility
• Complete the simple Connection Voucher application form – the Backbone Connect team can help with this
• Once eligibility has been verified, businesses can order a 1Gb-capable service at the initial speed they require (minimum 30Mbps). Again, the Backbone Connect team can support businesses in understanding the speed and size of connection they need.
• The service is installed, usually within 90 days
• Setup costs are reimbursed by Westminster City Council

In its 2016 Autumn Statement , the UK Government made clear it saw improved broadband connections as an essential part of the solution for closing the UK’s productivity gap.

“Small and medium-sized businesses are the power behind the UK’s economy – but they need the right technology to prosper and grow, and internet connectivity is an increasingly important part of this,” said Backbone Connect Director, Dave McLeod. “This scheme is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to secure the right technology needed for them to thrive. We urge all SMEs in Westminster to get in touch with our team to investigate the possibilities and secure their funding as soon as possible.”

Backbone Connect is a managed service provider that delivers a wide range of network and technology solutions for its customers. As such, it argues it is well placed to offer advice about business connectivity as part of any installation project – offering the opportunity to uncover other potential savings and productivity improvements at the same time.

David McLeod: “Backbone Connect has a Net Promoter score of +46, one of the highest we’ve ever come across in the telecoms industry – which is a good reason for businesses to choose us to guide them through the scheme. We are also very experienced in delivering this level of connectivity, having been heavily involved in the previous UK-wide, government funded, BDUK Connection Voucher Scheme that was available to SME’s during 2015/16.

We’re City based, so we are very local; our engineers are only five to fifteen minutes away from anywhere in Westminster. Most importantly, we can offer all the advantages of a joined-up infrastructure that can drive cost reduction, including SIP telephony platforms and direct connections to major public cloud providers.

We are expecting the funding for this scheme to be claimed by Westminster SMEs very quickly so invite all businesses to contact us as soon as possible.”

Backbone Connect already bring connectivity to many customers in the Westminster area, including legal and professional services, retail businesses and their sites, managed offices, media and marketing agencies, financial services, technology and software companies, as well as the public sector.

Phone number of the Backbone Connect Voucher Support Line: 020 3130 9470