Glenn Jacobs from Neon Digital

After moving to a new home, Maldon web development agency owner, Glenn Jacobs was finding it increasingly difficult to work from home. With the fibre broadband cabinet too far from his home, speeds of 3Mbps made running his company Neon Digital almost impossible.

“Working from home allows me to focus, away from the distractions of the office. This means I can spend time working on the business, rather than in it. However, having slow Internet can introduce frustration and make some tasks impossible,” Glenn said.

He tried 4G for a while, but it turned out to be too expensive and speeds would drastically fluctuate making it an unreliable solution. Wireless wasn’t an option, as the village Glenn lives in is unable to receive a signal due to the high surrounding landscape preventing a clear line of sight. Out of options he decided to get in touch with Aquiss, the company who supply his Maldon office with broadband. Aquiss instantly recommended the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme (GBVS).

The GBVS is a government scheme aimed at increasing access to full fibre broadband networks. The scheme is aimed at businesses and residents as part of a group project, as long as businesses are the main beneficiary. Individual businesses can claim up to £2,500 towards the cost of connection, and residents £500. Individual vouchers can be pooled together for group projects.

Martin Pitt who works on Network Operations at Aquiss said, “With regards to Glenn’s install, it was not really complex at all. We worked with Sky and Openreach to deploy a dedicated 100Mbps leased line service direct into our core network.”

Due to his semi-rural location there was a cost of £1,000 on top of the voucher, a wayleave and a road closure to contend with. But fast forward two months and Glenn is now able to access speeds of 100Mbps. From video conferencing clients on Zoom, to Dropboxing large files - he can work from home whilst his family stream their favourite Netflix shows. Glenn’s devices are thriving on the new full fibre connection and he is happy.

When asked if he would recommend the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme to others, Glenn said: “There’s no harm in looking into it. Without the scheme, installation was too expensive. If you’re in a business like mine, then the return on investment is totally worth it.”

The Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme has now closed. But if you’re a business struggling with your broadband speeds, like Glenn was, why not investigate other funding options available?