Update: Suffolk Chamber welcomes BCC call for faster broadband to become a ‘top priority’

British Chambers of Commerce director general John Longworth. British Chambers of Commerce director general John Longworth.

Friday, December 27, 2013
12:00 PM

Many businesses are being held back by poor broadband links, with some looking to move elsewhere because of connection problems, according to British Chambers of Commerce.

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Some areas are said to be “plagued” by low-quality networks, making it difficult to even send emails to clients or customers, and preventing some firms from making business deals in this country and abroad.

British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said all businesses in the UK should be able to take for granted access to high quality and reliable broadband.

John Longworth, director general of the BCC, said: “Broadband is as essential to the success of a business as any other form of infrastructure, as without it firms struggle with the simplest of tasks such as sending an email.

“But more fundamentally, it is holding them back from trading the world and making connections overseas. Too often, we hear from companies that the broadband in their area is unreliable, and that this is a key barrier to growing their business. This is unacceptable.

“We are in a digital age now where firms rely heavily on digital infrastructure to run their businesses day to day. Although there has been some progress in delivering quality broadband to parts of the country, more must be done to ensure that no business is left on the sidelines.

“We urge the Government to make high-quality broadband connectivity a top priority in the months ahead, and to work with industry to deliver it. It is essential that massive investment in digital connectivity must proceed even if overall government spending falls back, as without this businesses cannot fulfil their true potential.”

John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber, said today: “High speed broadband for business in 2014 will be as important as any other national infrastructure such as roads and rail.

“The chamber and businesses across Suffolk have been working hard with the Better Broadband for Suffolk campaign to ensure its programme delivers as soon as possible.

“We’re encouraged that good progress is being made but more firms in our county need more high speed connections as soon as possible if they are to keep up with their competitors in the UK and global economy.”