FSB Calls for Better Small Business Broadband
FSB report suggests introducing a voluntary code of conduct and Universal Service Obligation for providers
The Federation for Small Businesses (FSB) has called for minimum broadband speeds to be introduced across the UK in order to tackle problems holding small businesses back.
The FSB’s report, entitled Reassured, optimised, transformed: driving digital demand among small businesses, suggests that a new Universal Service Obligation (USO) – which sets a minimum speed of at least 10Mbps – should be established.
Addressing the current state of broadband markets for small companies, the report found that whilst broadband speeds had improved there was still issues regarding consumer expectations, quality of service and providers falling short on delivery promises.
According to the FSB these issues have caused some small firms to boycott existing providers and as a result this could hold many small businesses back as99% of companies said that the internet is essential to their work.
Other proposals laid out in the FSB’s report include the recommendation that providers should advertise minimum speeds as opposed to possible maximums and that they should sign up to a new voluntary code of practice for their business customers.
Ted Salmon, the FSB’s North East regional chairman, commented on the research:
“Business customers feel confused by the complexity of the market and struggle to assess how new services would benefit their business. A voluntary code of practice will help simplify matters and build trust between business customers and service providers. It will also allow small firms to better understand what services are available and how they can integrate these into their future business strategy.
“UK businesses and consumers have enthusiastically embraced digital communications, giving us a head start on our international competitors, but we cannot afford to be complacent. Consumer expectations and new technology are already overtaking past ambitions. We need to do even better, reaching a universal minimum of a least 10Mbps while also building greater trust and reliability.”