Superfast broadband is essential to the economic growth of Cambridgeshire
Fast, reliable Internet connections are vital for economic growth because it means businesses across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough can thrive and compete in a global world.
Increasing numbers of people work flexibly from home and better broadband means they can keep connected without having to spend time and money travelling.
Connecting Cambridgeshire has already rolled out superfast broadband to thousands of businesses and homes that would not be able to get it otherwise, and is aiming for 99% coverage by the end of 2020.
Growth Hub Cambridgeshire & Peterborough
The CPCA Growth Hub has free resources, support and advice for businesses in the region. It is funded by the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority and is here to connect your business to the help, support, information and funding that you need to thrive and grow.
Covering Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, West Norfolk, West Suffolk, North Hertfordshire, South Holland, South Kesteven and Uttlesford in Essex, their team of dedicated, expert professionals are here to help your business be the best it can be.
Digital Technology Grants for Business
Digital technology is vital to support economic growth, enabling businesses to thrive and compete in domestic and global markets. This is regarded as especially critical in the ongoing pandemic situation which is pushing businesses into new business models more quickly than they would previously have expected.
Connecting Cambridgeshire secured funding from the European Regional Development Fund and Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority to launch a grant scheme in February 2021 to support local businesses make productive use of digital technologies to grow their businesses in response to the changing economic environment.
The scheme has now closed as all available funding has been allocated, but you can read more about the Digital Technology Grants for Business scheme and how it has already begun to support the growth and resilience of eligible small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
Help to Grow: Digital
Businesses are invited to register for a new Government scheme that was announced in last year’s Budget (March 2021). The scheme is currently still in a BETA trial but all eligible businesses will be able to apply from January 2022.
Help to Grow: Digital will give small businesses free online technology advice and 50% discounts on new productivity-enhancing software.
Keeping everyone connected
Covid-19 has made us all more reliant on phone networks and internet services to stay in touch, which is why they are designated as critical services by the Government.
It’s vital that people can keep connected when being asked to stay at home, work remotely and practice social distancing. But getting fast, reliable internet access can be a challenge – particularly when several people want to go online at the same time.
Connecting Cambridgeshire, the digital connectivity programme led by Cambridgeshire County Council, is working with telecoms operators to improve broadband and mobile coverage across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Our Enabling Digital Delivery service is supporting telecoms operators working on critical broadband and mobile networks, and can help to liaise with planners and streetworks.
We are also offering support to businesses and communities to keep everyone connected:
Most homes and businesses across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough can now upgrade to superfast broadband of at least 24Mbps (and often much faster). The fibre broadband rollout is continuing to fill remaining gaps in coverage as soon as possible, meanwhile there is a range of options to help people cope with poor broadband connections.
If you want to upgrade your broadband speed, visit the Connecting Cambridgeshire Getting Superfast webpage to check if you can get superfast and follow the steps to upgrade, or find out about the options available.
Check the Home Broadband Networks guide for advice for employees on how to maximise broadband speeds and capacity while working from home.
We’re working with Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority and network operators to improve mobile phone coverage and have put together a Quick Guide to help available from the broadband and mobile networks
Financial help for businesses
If you need further advice on digital connectivity for your business and working from home during the Covid-19 outbreak, please contact the Connecting Cambridgeshire team by email email@example.com stating your address, postcode, and situation.
Other useful links
- Ofcom – Tips for consumers to stay connected and improving indoor coverage and how to set up Wifi calling
- Reset. Restart – Scheme to support SMEs through COVID-19 launched by Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Business and IP Centre and the British Library – read more about this on the Cambridgeshire County Council website.
- National Cyber Security Centre – Cyber Aware strategies to protect yourself online at this time.
- BT’s Small Business Support Scheme – BT announced its largest-ever commitment to Britain’s 5.8 million small businesses by launching the Small Business Support Scheme – introducing a range of new measures to help small business boost their connectivity, cash flow and confidence – to help kick-start recovery and growth in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The ten initiatives have been developed to address some of the biggest pressure points being felt by small businesses, as revealed by BT’s research with Small Business Britain. Find out more.
- Free digital mentorship for your business – Visa and Google UK, have joined forces with a number of other organisations to offer free support to small businesses in relation to digital skills in the form of mentoring, online courses, workshops and content.