Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey visits Cardiff Internet Exchange
Minister of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Ed Vaizey visited the new Cardiff Internet Exchange and met with Wales’ number one supplier in the Super Connected Cities voucher scheme, Spectrum Internet, to discuss the benefits the connection grants have provided to businesses in the city.
The Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) unit, part of DCMS, is offering connection vouchers to small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) based in Cardiff and Newport, as part of the £150million Super Connected Cities scheme. The connection vouchers cover up to £3,000 of the cost of implementing a much needed superfast broadband service for businesses. Until recently, this scheme was ending in March 2015 but, following petitions from providers such as Spectrum Internet to extend the vouchers, a further £40million will be available to more SMEs in extra cities across the UK from April.
Over 5,000 businesses across the UK have accessed a Super Connected Cities grant, with three quarters of all voucher services in Cardiff delivered by local provider Spectrum Internet.
Giles Phelps, Managing Director of Spectrum Internet, said: “Superfast broadband is vital for businesses to prosper, whatever industry you’re in. We’ve been working hard in our local area to improve the connectivity and availability, and we’ve been able to connect some firms within a day of them contacting us!”
The Minister discussed the work Digital Cardiff and Spectrum Internet have achieved in the city, including the different types of technology available to businesses, including Wireless and Fibre-to-the-Premise solutions, and the importance of having an Internet Exchange (IX) based in the heart of Wales, to provide world-class Internet access to small businesses in the city and beyond.
Jim Smart, Head of Digital Cardiff at Cardiff Council, said: “We have fully supported the need for a new Internet Exchange in Cardiff and thanks to the Super Connected Cities grant scheme we can encourage local businesses to keep their Internet traffic local, lowering costs and fostering growth in the city. Together with the enthusiasm of local companies and the incentive of the grant scheme, the new IX already has more customers than any other IX outside of London, except for Manchester.”
Ed Vaizey MP also met with Object Matrix, based in Southgate House in the city centre, a software company which recently signed up to the Super Connected Cardiff voucher programme and will be connecting to the Internet Exchange over the next few weeks. The scheme has helped the business obtain the speeds they desperately need but at a fraction of the cost. Object Matrix now receive speeds in excess of 50Mbps on a wireless service from Spectrum Internet.
Jonathan Morgan, CEO at Object Matrix, said: “For the work we do, being online is critical and one of the main benefits is that we can hold web based product demonstrations and can support customers around the World. Our staff are also much more efficient and overall productivity has increased – we’re looking forward to connecting locally to the new Exchange over the next few weeks!”