Ineffective Broadband is Hindering Small Business Growth

The Federation of Small Businesses reveals half of the UK’s rural small businesses experience ineffective broadband

A survey by the Federation of Small Business (FSB) found that half of the small enterprises located in rural areas are unhappy with their broadband services, with FSB chairman Mike Cherry warning that the issue “threatens the expansion of the £400bn rural economy”.

According to the FSB research, only 16% of small firms in the rural UK have access to superfast broadband with 14% of small companies referencing this lack of reliable broadband as the key barrier to their growth.

The organisation also fear that the problem will get worse as technological advancements makes online access even more relevant for business success – despite the government’s £1bn initiative to make superfast broadband available to 95% of the population by 2017.

Last summer, FSB released a report that deemed the government’s project as inadequate for the small business community and called for minimum broadband speeds of 10 Megabits (Mpbs) to businesses in all locations by 2018-19 after it found that 45,000 companies are still on dial-up and even more struggle with speeds lower than 2 Mbps per second.

Cherry commented on the recent survey, emphasising the importance of correcting the fixing the current business broadband infrastructure:

“This research paints a worrying picture of a divided business broadband landscape in the UK, and unless addressed highlights a clear obstacle to growth.

“A reliable connection is now viewed as a key business requirement by 94% of small UK businesses.”

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