Packnet Blog

A business group set up to push for the development of high speed broadband services in the area surrounding Chipping Norton has put its weight behind a managed investment scheme designed to encourage further funding for the project.

The scheme – set up by investment management group, Enterprise Private Equity (EPE), and understood to be the first of its kind in the UK – has received the full support of the Cotswold Broadband Group in its bid to ensure high speed broadband provision is in place in the west Oxfordshire area by June next year.

Under the terms of the plan – branded the Rural Broadband Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) Fund – investors are offered a 21% return over four years in exchange for a minimum stake of £10,000. The plan’s anticipated return includes an expected tax relief allowance of 30%. It is also based on the assumption that the interests will eventually be purchased by a pension trust fund or other investment group.

The investment scheme has also been set up to assist similar high-speed broadband development projects in Dorset and Devon. It aims to have raised £10m by January 31.

Commenting on the scheme, Martin Sherwood, director of enterprise with EPE, said:

“With the major telecoms providers focusing on the highly populated urban areas of the UK, this has left a sizable number of businesses and individuals with limited access to the internet and the upgrades that deliver faster access to existing and new services. We believe there is very high demand from businesses and individuals who would be very happy to pay for these services given the opportunity to buy into them.”

In addition to offering faster browsing speeds, high-speed broadband is said to be in demand among many businesses seeking to benefit from such technologies as business VoIP (voice over internet protocol) and internet protocol (IP) telephony.

Callum Byrnes