Don’t forget your broadband voucher, contractors!

Umbrella company contractors and freelancers, if you’re complaining about poor internet speeds don’t forget you might be able to qualify for a broadband voucher.

You’ve got until March of 2015 to apply for a voucher for increased broadband if you’re a small business owner under the Superconnected Cities initiative from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Sole traders and other self-employed Brits fall under the eligibility of this programme, so if you’re one of those freelancing types that does most of their work from home over the Internet and you’re currently labouring under a lacklustre web connection, this might be just the thing for you.

The voucher is a rather weighty one, as well – you can get as much as £3,000 in credit towards the costs of your Internet connection if you qualify. Some 3,000 small firms have already applied for the new programme, hoping to access better speeds to improve their ability to conduct business over the web without having to spend an arm and a leg to do so.

The scheme is working alongside the initiative to roll out fibre optic Internet speeds to the entirety of the UK. The goal of the new fibre network is to provide as much of the country with high speed Internet by 2017, which could honestly revolutionise both residential and commercial connectivity. If you ask me, it sounds like an absolutely brilliant way to ensure that not only British businesses have the opportunity to compete on an international level but also will let your mum play all those damned Facebook games without interfering with you watching Strictly Come Dancing on iPlayer.

All right, so that might not be exactly what the broadband voucher initiative is all about, especially since it’s really supposed to be focused on making Internet access for businesses faster and more reliable, but let’s be honest here: plenty of small business owners work out of their own homes, and that means sharing a residential Internet connection between your business needs and the rest of the people in the house. If your cousin’s busy downloading pornography while you’re trying to upload some files to a client, you’d best hope that you’ve got enough bandwidth to get the job done quickly.

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