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Poor broadband holding back small businesses

Posted on 07 Nov 2019 and read 863 times
Poor broadband holding back small businessesAccording to new research by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), small businesses are being held back by poor broadband and mobile-phone connections.

The FSB’s new digital-infrastructure report (www.fsb.org.uk) — Lost Connection — shows that a third of firms (33%) are struggling with broadband speeds that are insufficient for their current business needs, while two in five (40%) say that their broadband is not good enough for their future needs.

The report also explores mobile connectivity, with data showing that almost half (45%) of small firms cannot get a good connection on their mobile phones; this figure rises to 57% in rural areas.

Connection issues are restricting the growth and productivity of small-business owners, with nearly one in three (32%) reporting that poor mobile and broadband connection has prevented them from contacting (or being contacted by) existing customers or potential new clients.

A similar number (30%) say that poor connection is a barrier to growing their business, while over a quarter (26%) say that poor mobile coverage has led to a loss of business or sales.

With over half (52%) of business owners saying that they want to adopt ‘full fibre’ broadband when it becomes available in their area, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ambitious promise of nation-wide full fibre or gigabit-capable broadband by 2025 must be kept, according to the FSB.

It is calling for the Government, industry and regulators to work together to remove barriers to the roll-out of full fibre, to resolve the productivity puzzle, and to ensure no-one is left behind, as the UK enters the fourth industrial revolution.