SMEs lag behind on UK broadband connectivity » SMEInsider

SMEs lag behind on UK broadband connectivity

Ofcom has found a significant gap between the broadband connectivity enjoyed by SMEs compared to average coverage.

The market regulator’s 2014 report found that 56 per cent of UK SMEs could currently access the latest ‘superfast’ broadband connections, compared to 75 per cent average coverage. This gap was even more pronounced in urban areas, where 67 per cent SME coverage lagged significantly behind 83 per cent average coverage.

While the availability and overall quality of broadband services is getting better, Ofcom’s report found several other issues other than a lack of superfast broadband for SMEs. The regulator noted that rural areas aren’t being connected fast enough, and that there are too many under-served ‘city not-spots’. Looking forward, Ofcom says, there is a lack of ultrafast broadband foresight.

“Digital infrastructure is crucial to the UK’s future,”  said Ed Richards, Ofcom chief executive. “As a country we are continuing to make real progress, particularly in the roll out and take-up of superfast broadband and 4G mobile services.

“But there is more to be done. We need to continue asking whether collectively we are doing enough to build the infrastructure of the future, and to maintain the competition that benefits consumers and businesses,” he added.

The research found that the average UK household or small business is downloading 53 Gigabytes (GB) of data on their fixed broadband line every month – equivalent to 35 feature films, and a 77 per cent increase on 2013.