Gateshead-based telecommunications and IT infrastructure firm Advantex Network Solutions Ltd says that small businesses are failing to take advantage of the scheme.
This could see them potentially missing out on thousands of pounds of funding to pay for super-fast broadband connection and associated hardware such as wireless and Internet security.
The Government has set aside £150 million to fund its Broadband Connection Vouchers scheme.
Under this, a business can apply for up to £3000 to use towards the cost of installing new Internet and Wi-Fi services.
Advantex is a registered supplier of the connection vouchers and is in the vanguard of delivering the Go Digital scheme in North Tyneside, Newcastle and Gateshead, which closes in 2016 after delivering vouchers to numerous businesses already.
Director Stephen O’Connell says the UK already does more business online than any other European country, and the widespread access to superfast broadband offered by the scheme will provide a tremendous boost to the Tyneside economy.
However, he’s concerned that there are hundreds of small businesses unaware of the scheme or who believe that they might not be eligible for funding.
“Although the Government has set aside hundreds of millions of pounds to help companies become better connected to the internet, there is still huge capacity for Tyneside companies to access funding.
“Which business wouldn’t want the opportunity to tap into a no-obligation funding package that puts them on the fast track to success using super-fast broadband connectivity as well as associated IT hardware for connectivity?
“So, more companies need to register and take advantage of an initiative that can help them to improve competitiveness and boost growth.”
Stephen O’Connell also wants to see more commercial property landlords take advantage of the scheme.
“Under the scheme, a landlord could be eligible for up to £3,000 per tenant,” he says. “If they have several tenants then the available funding package can add up to tens of thousands of pounds for investing in an enterprise grade internet for their building as well as an enterprise level wireless network and Internet security.
Advantex has started work on several projects under the scheme, where new super-fast and secure Internet connections will be installed to improve services to tenants. These include the six storey Broadacre House on Market Street and Westgate Road’s prestigious The Beacon business centre.