Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 17°C

ESTD 1874 Search

East Anglia: FSB calls for Government to adopt more ambitious broadband targets

15:49 14 July 2014

Chris Soule, chairman of the Suffolk FSB branch.

Chris Soule, chairman of the Suffolk FSB branch.

Archant

The UK’s broaband network is not up to speed, according to a new survey by a leading organisation representing Britain’s small firms.

shares

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is calling for the Government to adopt more ambitious targets for rolling out high speed broadband for businesses with an estimated 45,000 firms still on dial up and many more struggling with speeds lower than 2megabits per second (Mbps).

More than nine of 10 small firms (94%) view a reliable internet connection as critical to the success of their business, says the FSB is its report, entitled “The fourth utility: delivering universal broadband connectivity for small businesses across the UK”.

But is says the current Government targets of 24Mbps for 95% of the population and 2Mbps for the remaining 5% will not meet the future demands of UK businesses, with some businesses still struggling to send digital invoices, upload large files or even communicate with clients via the internet even in areas where households have high speed broadband.

Chris Soule, the FSB’s Suffolk branch chairman said: “The fact that we have around 45,000 businesses still on dial up is unacceptable and many more throughout the country, even in London, are receiving poor service. Evidence from our members shows this clearly is a problem affecting all corners of the UK, rural areas and cities alike. While progress has been made with the residential market, businesses have not enjoyed the same benefits, which is holding back their growth.

“We therefore want to see the UK Government show ambition with its broadband targets and put business needs at their centre. Leaving five per cent of the population with a 2Mbps connection in 2017 is not good enough.”

He added: “As this report shows, too many of our small firms are held back by the current state of the broadband market in the UK. We want Government to oversee the creation of world-beating digital infrastructure that will enable businesses to grow, innovate and compete in international markets.

“This means not only raising download speeds but also upload speeds that are so important and where provision is especially inadequate. Otherwise firms’ growth ambitions will be blunted, while Government efforts to get every firm to go ‘digital by default’ when filing its taxes online will be impossible to achieve.”

The FSB is calling for the Government, in co-operation with industry, to commit to delivering minimum speeds of 10Mbps for all business premises in the UK by 2018–19, regardless of location. This compares with the current target of delivering 2Mpbs for the hardest to reach five per cent by 2017.

Alongside this, it says the Government should set a medium to long-term objective of providing minimum speeds of 100Mbps to all premises by 2030.

By way of comparison, the FSB says Denmark is committed to offering universal access of 100Mbps to its citizens by 2020, while South Korea has a target of 1000Mbps (1Gbps) for 90% of its population by 2017.

shares

1 comment

  • Sounds like the summer silly season has arrived. There is the usual need for objectivity and realistic targets. It's not just small businesses that need access to good broadband provision but in the end it is just another utility like water, electricity and gas. Many rural locations don't have gas and may have to survive without mains water and even mains electricity. Such services have been around for a lot longer than we even knew we needed broadband. It's not so long ago that a telephone line could be used for a single conversation or a very low speed data link. Now a single pair of copper wires can do both at the same time and data rates of 20 or 30 MBS are possible. The limitations in the future are technology and money. In life we deal with needs and wants. If FSB's need universal access to faster broadband then they will find a way for it to be funded. I suspect they want such technology but expect others to pay for it.

    Report this comment

    amsterdam81

    Monday, July 14, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Alan Cowie, communications and events officer at the| New Anglia Growth Hub.

New Anglia Growth Hub is to host a funding workshop, bringing together five providers of business support under one roof.

The Birketts Tour de Wellbeing cycle team, from left, Matthew Potter, Ben Burt, Jolyon Berry (front) Greg Jones and Tom Shape.

Members of the employment team at regional law firm Birketts raised more than £1,000 for Breast Cancer Care by taking part in the Tour de Wellbeing virtual cycle race, held by EMCOR UK to coincide with the Tour de France.

The head office of BT, the BT Centre, in Newgate Street, central London.

Thousands of BT workers are to share in a £265million payout under share-related savings schemes which will see some employees making gains of more than £54,000.

A plane in Flybe's latest purple livery.

Regional airline Flybe has confirmed its 2015-16 winter schedule to and from Stansted.

Lloyds has added £1.4billion to its bill for compensating customers mis-sold payment protection insurance.

State-backed Lloyds Banking Group’s provision for payment protection insurance mis-selling has topped £13billion after it yesterday took another £1.4billion hit over the scandal.

A computer-generated image of how the Sizewell complex will look after construction of Sizewell C.

Development of Sizewell C took a huge step forward today as the companies were announced that will build its sister nuclear power station in Somerset.

Gary Allen, operations manager,  with Diane Allen and Graham Allen at Ipswich-based Ajax Domestic Spares which is celebratiing 40 years in business.

Ajax Domestic Spares has marked 40 years in business in style by launching a new showroom in Foxhall Road, Ipswich.

The Great House restaurant with rooms in Lavenham.

An award-winning Suffolk restaurant has gained another accolade after being ranked the 26th best in the country.

Gavin Patterson, chief executive of BT.

Photo: BT

BT is to pay out up to £129million to extend the Government-led roll-out of superfast broadband, after a bigger-than-expected take-up of the service.

Centrica has reignited controversy over high energy bills by announcing a 44% increase in first half profits at its British Gas retail division.

Energy giants Royal Dutch Shell and Centrica today revealed plans to axe a total of more than 12,000 jobs.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages