Letting agent is first to get broadband voucher

Catrina Norris

Catrina Norris

First published in News The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Council Reporter, also covering Oxford city centre. Call me on 01865 425429

A PROPERTY business in East Oxford has become the first in the city to receive funding towards the cost of superfast broadband.

Oxford is one of 22 cities that are part of the Government’s £100m broadband voucher scheme.

Funding of £3.1m from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport has gone to Oxford City Council to hand out cash boosts to small and medium-sized businesses.

RMA Properties in Cowley Road is the first business to be given a voucher to go towards the costs of installing broadband. Their’s is worth £995 but vouchers can range from £200 to £3,000.

Catrina Norris RMA Properties office manager, said consumers would benefit from faster internet speeds.

She said: “When you have 10 people working in an office like we do and they’re trying to track down the best prices for a replacement freezer for a property, for example, the quicker we can do that and the more websites we can visit the better. In the long term, consumers will benefit because it helps us to source products which are better value for money – and the knock-on effect is that they save money too.

“It also allows us to contact clients, customers and the council more quickly and as a result it makes our business more efficient, which is good for us and good for our customers so everyone wins.”

Gavin Spencer, small and medium business manager at Oxfordshire Chamber of Commerce said: “High speed broadband is essential for businesses to compete and grow. There are so many benefits, such as the ability to transfer and download large volumes of data or to host data externally on the cloud, which is particularly useful for small businesses.

“They are also able to communicate more easily via email, video conferencing and social media. The result is an increase in home-based businesses and workers, which reduced travel costs and improves connectivity.

“Consumers can also benefit from online shopping which in turn helps internet- based businesses.”

A list of approved suppliers has been drawn up which businesses can use to install their broadband. RMA Properties used FirstLine Telecoms.

The Howard Street company’s John Crozier said: “We are more than happy to help any businesses who would like to benefit from it, and are looking forward to providing many more installations.”

City councillor James Fry, the council’s champion for small business, said: “We are determined to be a dynamic centre for business and to provide support for local businesses offering skilled, well-paid jobs to the people of the city.

“We hope that this new source of funding will enable small and medium-sized businesses to forge ahead, strengthen and develop.

“We all increasingly rely on excellent digital communication and this scheme will sustain the rapid growth and expansion of the city’s economic base in publishing, consulting, design, research, media, communications and digital innovation.’’ Businesses can check if they are eligible for the scheme by using a postcode checker to get a quote from the list of approved suppliers and submit the application.

To register interest in the broadband scheme, visit connectionvouchers.co.uk

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Comments (9)

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6:45am Tue 8 Jul 14

Lord Palmerstone says...

Why this outfit and not, for example, Finders Keepers? Seems quite weird and arbitrary. Is this what the State should be borrowing money against all our futures for?
Why this outfit and not, for example, Finders Keepers? Seems quite weird and arbitrary. Is this what the State should be borrowing money against all our futures for? Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: 0

9:29am Tue 8 Jul 14

EMBOX2 says...

Hmm I smell a rat. This company are based on the Cowley Rd. Their phone number gives the following fibre broadband expected speeds:

Downstream Min: 77 Mbps
Downstream Max: 80 Mbps
Upstream Min: 19.9 Mbps
Upstream Max: 20 Mbps

Now, where I work, we use a LOT of data - we send multi gigabyte files daily, way way above a "normal" office. All 16 of us make do just fine with a single fibre line running at HALF the speed above.

So why does RMA need a £995 voucher, exactly?

Researching washing machines is rather less intensive than sending movie files around the place...
Hmm I smell a rat. This company are based on the Cowley Rd. Their phone number gives the following fibre broadband expected speeds: Downstream Min: 77 Mbps Downstream Max: 80 Mbps Upstream Min: 19.9 Mbps Upstream Max: 20 Mbps Now, where I work, we use a LOT of data - we send multi gigabyte files daily, way way above a "normal" office. All 16 of us make do just fine with a single fibre line running at HALF the speed above. So why does RMA need a £995 voucher, exactly? Researching washing machines is rather less intensive than sending movie files around the place... EMBOX2
  • Score: 2

9:30am Tue 8 Jul 14

EMBOX2 says...

EMBOX2 wrote:
Hmm I smell a rat. This company are based on the Cowley Rd. Their phone number gives the following fibre broadband expected speeds:

Downstream Min: 77 Mbps
Downstream Max: 80 Mbps
Upstream Min: 19.9 Mbps
Upstream Max: 20 Mbps

Now, where I work, we use a LOT of data - we send multi gigabyte files daily, way way above a "normal" office. All 16 of us make do just fine with a single fibre line running at HALF the speed above.

So why does RMA need a £995 voucher, exactly?

Researching washing machines is rather less intensive than sending movie files around the place...
Freezer/washing machine/whatever....
[quote][p][bold]EMBOX2[/bold] wrote: Hmm I smell a rat. This company are based on the Cowley Rd. Their phone number gives the following fibre broadband expected speeds: Downstream Min: 77 Mbps Downstream Max: 80 Mbps Upstream Min: 19.9 Mbps Upstream Max: 20 Mbps Now, where I work, we use a LOT of data - we send multi gigabyte files daily, way way above a "normal" office. All 16 of us make do just fine with a single fibre line running at HALF the speed above. So why does RMA need a £995 voucher, exactly? Researching washing machines is rather less intensive than sending movie files around the place...[/p][/quote]Freezer/washing machine/whatever.... EMBOX2
  • Score: 0

9:37am Tue 8 Jul 14

yabbadabbadoo256 says...

hmm i would love £995 free voucher to install broadband, but unfortunately us plebs have to wait for BDUK to get their finger out sometime in 2015.

Is anyone aware of the fact that BDUK is rolling out broadband in oxfordshire at the same time? why can't they wait for that??

Sounds like the means for organisations to get broadband for free when they can quite rightly afford it themselves
hmm i would love £995 free voucher to install broadband, but unfortunately us plebs have to wait for BDUK to get their finger out sometime in 2015. Is anyone aware of the fact that BDUK is rolling out broadband in oxfordshire at the same time? why can't they wait for that?? Sounds like the means for organisations to get broadband for free when they can quite rightly afford it themselves yabbadabbadoo256
  • Score: 2

11:39am Tue 8 Jul 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

She said: “When you have 10 people working in an office like we do and they’re trying to track down the best prices for a replacement freezer for a property, for example, the quicker we can do that and the more websites we can visit the better. In the long term, consumers will benefit because it helps us to source products which are better value for money – and the knock-on effect is that they save money too.

“It also allows us to contact clients, customers and the council more quickly and as a result it makes our business more efficient, which is good for us and good for our customers so everyone wins.” "........
........I didn't think Jackanory was still going, but it looks like it is. The only ones that win in this case are RMA properties.
She said: “When you have 10 people working in an office like we do and they’re trying to track down the best prices for a replacement freezer for a property, for example, the quicker we can do that and the more websites we can visit the better. In the long term, consumers will benefit because it helps us to source products which are better value for money – and the knock-on effect is that they save money too. “It also allows us to contact clients, customers and the council more quickly and as a result it makes our business more efficient, which is good for us and good for our customers so everyone wins.” "........ ........I didn't think Jackanory was still going, but it looks like it is. The only ones that win in this case are RMA properties. Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 1

12:18pm Tue 8 Jul 14

King Joke says...

THere is a pot of money available, anybody with a business was eligible, they applied and go the money. Why is this such a problem?
THere is a pot of money available, anybody with a business was eligible, they applied and go the money. Why is this such a problem? King Joke
  • Score: 1

1:03pm Tue 8 Jul 14

Lord Palmerstone says...

King Joke wrote:
THere is a pot of money available, anybody with a business was eligible, they applied and go the money. Why is this such a problem?
Could it be that spending by the State is out of control and stuff like this is completely unhelpful?
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: THere is a pot of money available, anybody with a business was eligible, they applied and go the money. Why is this such a problem?[/p][/quote]Could it be that spending by the State is out of control and stuff like this is completely unhelpful? Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: 0

8:48pm Tue 8 Jul 14

EMBOX2 says...

King Joke wrote:
THere is a pot of money available, anybody with a business was eligible, they applied and go the money. Why is this such a problem?
There is a pot of YOUR and MY money available for people who don't need it. That is why I have a problem with it.

I would prefer my money go to rural Oxfordshire communities who barely have decent broadband speeds, let along fibre.
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: THere is a pot of money available, anybody with a business was eligible, they applied and go the money. Why is this such a problem?[/p][/quote]There is a pot of YOUR and MY money available for people who don't need it. That is why I have a problem with it. I would prefer my money go to rural Oxfordshire communities who barely have decent broadband speeds, let along fibre. EMBOX2
  • Score: 0

9:04pm Tue 8 Jul 14

King Joke says...

It's swings and roundabouts. A SME in rural Oxfordshire can undercut a city one through lower rent. They'll have to accept poorer infrastructure.
It's swings and roundabouts. A SME in rural Oxfordshire can undercut a city one through lower rent. They'll have to accept poorer infrastructure. King Joke
  • Score: 0

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