SMEs most likely to suffer unreliable broadband

posted by 4 years ago in News

If you’re experiencing regular downtime you may not be surprised by the results of a new survey on broadband connectivity for businesses.

Nearly one in five companies questioned by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said they suffer from unreliable broadband. Unsurprisingly, companies in rural areas were found to be at least twice as likely to experience downtime as those in towns, inner cities, and suburban areas.

Smaller businesses are the most likely to suffer from unreliable broadband, with nearly a quarter (24%) of sole traders and 21% of micro-businesses reporting problems. That’s despite 99% of all those surveyed saying a reliable broadband connection is important to them.

The survey suggests that unreliable connections are standing in the way of businesses doing more:

  • 48% said they would use more applications

  • 24% specified they would prefer to use cloud-based services

  • 22% wanted to be able to transfer large files

  • 15% would implement remote server access for employees if they had a more reliable connection

Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“Business communities across the UK still report that our digital infrastructure is not fit for purpose. Throughout the country, significant numbers of companies of every size and sector lack reliable internet connectivity – a basic requirement for businesses to operate efficiently in today’s world.

“Unreliable connections stunt productivity, causing needless delays, costs and frustration. While businesses in every corner of the UK are affected, our research shows that it’s rural areas and small businesses that are most likely to suffer. An unreliable connection acts as an obstacle to growth, and puts those firms most in need of support at a competitive disadvantage.

“While we welcome recent ministerial announcements about investing in 5G technology and efforts to build a world-class digital infrastructure in the UK, there is still a long way to go in getting the basics right. The immediate focus must be on providing all companies with connections that are reliable and of sufficient speed, which would boost business confidence and encourage firms to maximise opportunities for growth, trade and investment.”