Slow start to Portsmouth’s superfast broadband scheme

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JUST four companies in the city have applied for a share of a £2.2m pot for superfast broadband.

Firms can ask for vouchers worth £300 to £3,000 to cover installation costs.

Andrew Reynolds, operation director at V3 Recruitment, in Commercial Road, Portsmouth, has benefitted from the scheme.

‘The fact that we can be supported by the grant is a great benefit,’ he told BBC Radio Solent.

But he added firms could be put off by line rental costs that can reach £250 to £300 a month.

And Maureen Frost, deputy chief executive at Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, said rural areas need broadband.

She said: ‘I think we need to give it a chance, it’s early days.

‘Some of the rural areas certainly would benefit from it.’

The government has defended the scheme, which started on December 7.

As one of 22 Super Connected Cities, Portsmouth City Council secured funding for the project from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Super-Connected Cities programme.