Invest Northern Ireland has announced the final call for small to medium sized enterprises (SME’s) seeking to benefit from its broadband assistance programme.
Open to SME’s across Northern Ireland the initiative provides funding of up to 40% to encourage companies to implement broadband within their business. The support covers installation and the first year’s running costs up to a maximum of £5,000.
Faster and more efficient than a narrowband dialup modem connection broadband can offer a wide range of benefits to businesses because it is “always on”, does not tie up a phone line, has a flat rate monthly cost and is up to 40 times faster than dialup. By using this technology SME’s can introduce new e-commerce activities and use the internet in a much more efficient way. They can also be more responsive via email and increase both their competitiveness and profitability.
The funding available allows SME’s to evaluate the real business benefits broadband can offer at a reduced cost for the first year. The 18 month programme, launched in June 2003, is drawing to a close and will stop accepting new applications for support on the 31st of December 2004.
As part of this initiative Invest NI’s E-Solutions Centre can also offer demonstrations on the full range of broadband technologies available, including advice on E-security and other areas of ICT depending on individual business need.
“It is widely acknowledged that broadband connectivity will have a major influence on enhancing the overall competitiveness of business globally and that local companies need to deploy this technology if they are to remain competitive in the future,” commented Alan Neville, Director of Knowledge Management at Invest NI.
SME’s operating in an area which has not as yet been broadband enabled can contact an Invest NI advisor for further information on the application process on T. 0800 515319, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to www.investni.com/broadband