Thursday, 31 July 2014

Connection Vouchers Scheme Extended to Parts of Oldham

The government funded Connection Vouchers Scheme has been extended to include some parts of Oldham and Stockport.

The parts of Oldham included for the first time are Broadway Business Park, Brookgate Business Park and Greengate Industrial Estate at Chadderton and Salmon Fields Business Village at Royton.
The scheme provides grants of between £100 and £3000 for the cost of connection of faster broadband service and runs until March 2015.
Other areas of Oldham are not covered by this scheme but in many cases Plum Communications offer Free Installation to customers taking service on contracts between one and three years.

Advantages of Faster Broadband

Businesses adopting Faster Broadband have found that the benefits are:
  • A stronger ability to work collaboratively on projects with other groups within an organisation or with external organisations
  • The capability to upload and download large multi media files, making user and customer experiences easier and more streamlined
  • The ability to link up separate work sites and remote workers

Does My Business Qualify for the Connection Voucher Scheme?

Each business or organisation will have the chance of receiving the vouchers valued from £100 up to £3000 if they meet the required criteria for eligibility. If you are wondering whether or not your business qualifies for the Connection Vouchers Scheme then have a look below at some of the qualifying conditions. This list is not exhaustive so please speak to a member of the Plum Communications team to find out more information on eligibility.
  • Connections must cost over £100
  • The connection must indicate a step change in connectivity
  • Contract duration must be for at least six months
  • Small to Medium sized Enterprise need to meet the same definition as defined by the European Commission
  • You must be located in a local authority of one of the SuperConnected Cities
  • There are other conditions which also apply, please see guidance from your Local Authority on this as there are different rules for each city

How Do I Begin the Process?

  • Firstly contact Plum Communications for a quotation or estimate and an initial check on whether you may qualify for the scheme
  • You will then need to submit your application and quotation or estimate online
  • If your application is successful and you receive a voucher or conditional offer letter you will place your order with us at Plum Communications
  • You will be responsible for payment of VAT and the invoice amount less the voucher amount and you will send the invoice and claim form to your local authority for payment of the voucher amount
The Connection Voucher will contribute to or cover the initial installation cost. Connection costs in excess of £3000 and ongoing costs are not covered by the grant and your business will have to pay for those. If you are not in a SuperConnected City or do not qualify for a voucher we may still be able to offer free or reduced price installation.

List of SuperConnected Cities as of 3 June 2014: Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford/Leeds, Brighton and Hove, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Coventry, Derby, Derry/Londonderry, Edinburgh, London, Manchester/Salford, Newcastle, Newport, Nottingham, Oxford, Perth, Portsmouth, York.


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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Wayne Hemingway and Steph McGovern inspired businesses at a Superfast Summit

WAYNE Hemingway MBE and broadcaster Steph McGovern headlined an event that encouraged Newcastle businesses to make more of the internet to reach customers and boost the local economy.

Wayne, co-founder of Red or Dead and multi-disciplinary HemingwayDesign - was the keynote speaker at the Go Digital Newcastle Superfast Summit – an event to promote the funding and free support available as part of Go Digital Newcastle, a campaign to deliver superfast broadband to 97pc of the city by summer 2015.

TV journalist Steph hosted the event and shared anecdotes from across the country including companies struggling with slow internet speeds and employers across a range of sectors facing a digital skills shortage.

Wayne told a packed audience how he and his wife Gerardine began their business empire with a market stall on Camden Market - growing Red or Dead into a global brand and selling it 19 years later for a significant sum.

The 53-year-old addressed the issue of how the digital arena has since opened up a world of opportunities for businesses, and how he and Gerardine have used those opportunities to further grow the many strands of their businesses, including HemingwayDigital, a division of the renowned and award-winning Hemingway Design.

Wayne said: “Digitally enhanced communities are creative, innovative and exciting places to be and live, they enrich people’s lives.

“Those who use the internet well are those who know that it’s not just about what you sell, it’s about the people you sell to, it’s their lifestyles that are important.

“Online videos are a brilliant tool for businesses, councils and charities – they are low cost and have the potential to reach a huge audience.

“The most successful brands are the ones that give people something they can use or share with others, things like videos, posters and pictures.

“People respond to generosity, the world isn’t a nasty place, there are some nasty people but 99pc of people are decent folk.”

Wayne also highlighted HemingwayDesign’s hugely popular The Vintage Festival, which celebrates the best of British music, fashion, film, art and design, and he shared details of how The Vintage Festival has reached hundreds of thousands of people purely using social media.

Further Information:

Plum Communications are a registered supplier for the Connection Voucher Scheme which provides contribution of up to £3000 towards installation costs of high speed broadband for qualifying businesses subject to postcode area and acceptance on the scheme.

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Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Cisco is Official Network Infrastructure Supporter for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

As the Official Network Infrastructure Supporter for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, Cisco is delighted to provide a highly secure and robust network infrastructure enabling the connection of data, voice, video and devices to one of the world’s biggest sporting events! Cisco® solutions provided to Glasgow 2014 will include a network consisting of an impressive 2,300 IP phones, 441 switches, 378 access points, 16 routers, 15 digital media players, 14 ace load balancers and eight firewalls.

Cisco are proud and excited to be a part of this great sporting event and will help deliver a truly connected spectator experience. Cisco operates throughout the UK and across the globe, and employs around 150 people in Scotland.

Phil Smith, CEO Cisco UK and Ireland said "I am really excited that the Commonwealth Games are coming to Glasgow and even more pleased that Cisco is an official supporter of the games. I believe we are in a fabulous position to make the visitor experience absolutely brilliant and better than anything ever achieved at a Commonwealth Games. At Cisco we like to make amazing things happen by connecting the previously unconnected. 'The Internet of Everything' is our approach to connecting people, process, data and all things on the network. Glasgow 2014 is a perfect stage to showcase what we can make possible."

As part of the agreement, Cisco will also sponsor Team Scotland, Team England, Team Wales and Team Northern Ireland.

For more information on how Cisco can enable your organisation contact Plum Communications 01616223500.


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