Welsh Minister Alun Cairns visits superfast Newport businesses

Wales Office Minister Alun Cairns visited two businesses and one charity who have benefitted under the connection voucher project in Newport, following the recent Autumn Statement announcement of an extension to the scheme.

The scheme offers cities the chance to issue broadband vouchers, worth up to £3,000, to local companies to help them towards the cost of implementing a superfast broadband service. The Chancellor announced an extra £40million has been committed to the scheme and the number of cities included will increase from 22 to 28 from April 2015. The scheme will expire in March 2016.

(L-R) Paul Smith, Jonathan Beese of Satellite Finance, Welsh Minister Alun Cairns, Councilor Bob Bright, Director of Place Newport City Council Sheila Davis and Giles Phelps of Spectrum Internet.

During the visit to Satellite Finance Limited, Global Business Events and The Alacrity Foundation, the Minister was accompanied by Spectrum Internet who is the main supplier in the programme in South Wales.

Mr. Cairns started the day at Satellite Finance Limited, based in Clarence House, who is an independent finance brokerage company who recently signed up to the voucher programme. The main benefit of the new Fibre-to-the-Premise connection at Satellite Finance Limited is the increase in staff morale. Staff are no longer frustrated or restricted by slow broadband speeds, thanks to the recently installed 100Mbps service. By future-proofing their connectivity, the company has seen improved productivity from staff and it is expected to aid the company’s future growth plans.

The Minister then discussed the work Spectrum Internet has achieved in Newport and Monmouthshire, including how to cut fibre optic cable using a fibre splicing machine and the different types of technology available to service businesses based in the city centre, to those in the heart of the rural countryside.

Mr. Cairns then visited Global Business Events, a family run business that offers a complete marketing and intelligence solution towards business events. Although they only signed up to the voucher scheme with Spectrum Internet a few weeks ago, their new superfast broadband service has already had a huge impact on the way they work. The connection process for Global Business Events was simple, with no application required and a quick installation.

Lastly, the Minister stopped by The Alacrity Foundation, an educational charity whose mission is to mentor and nurture the brightest graduates and create a new generation of British hi-tech companies. The charity houses around half a dozen entrepreneurs and businesses who all rely heavily on high speed Internet connectivity. The voucher scheme has helped each business obtain the speeds they need but at a fraction of the cost.

During the visit Mr. Cairns said: “Providing world-class Internet access to small businesses in Wales is crucial. They are the engine of job creation and the backbone of the Welsh economy.”

Take a look at our Storify of the meeting: https://storify.com/SpectrumISP/welsh-minister-alun-cairns-visit