Make good on broadband pledge to help family firms, ministers urged » SMEInsider

Make good on broadband pledge to help family firms, ministers urged

A lack of infrastructure and inadequate broadband are curtailing family businesses, and the government must step in to do something about it.

That’s the call from the Institute for Family Business (IFB), which says that broadband coverage, red tape, poor road and rail networks and insufficient links with emerging markets are all barriers to growth for family firms.

But this is out of kilter with the government’s productivity plan, announced last year to boost UK economic growth, and Westminster needs to implement measures to help family businesses to thrive, the IFB has said.

According to the Institute’s research:

  • More than 40 per cent of business owners disagree that broadband coverage meets their business needs
  • 75 per cent think that making superfast broadband available to 95 per cent of UK households will help
  • 58 per cent said funding new roads should be a priority
  • Half believe rail investment will be a positive step
  • 66 per cent think bureaucracy restricts their business growth
  • Three quarters said the government should prioritise slashing £10billion in red tape.

Director general of the IFB, Mark Hastings, said: “Our members are telling us that the government needs to do much more to free them up and allow growth.

“The ideas, creativity and drive for business development are as strong as ever. But the basic infrastructure, roads and rail networks must be there to encourage it.

“Ensuring business has proper access to broadband is absolutely vital. The idea that business in modern Britain could get left behind because they cannot get connected is crazy.

“Equally red tape should never be a barrier for holding anyone back.”


  • Richard williams

    Our broadband is less than a Meg rendering it almost impossible to run a business selling top end British product worldwide. BT does not have the technology to bring adequate broadband to rural or semi rural locations and our situation is evidence of this yet the government keep on making promises they cannot fulfil due to this situation

    • brianm101

      Actual it does – but it has no profit motive to do so, We have similar speeds to you and we are in a major UK city with fast broadband all-around us on the domestic housing estate. However BT refuses to connect us and those of other units close by as we are ‘a business’. All we get offered is expensive leased lines.
      What’s more frustrating is that BT is being allowed to purchase EE giving it a large share of the mobile business as well as – corruption in high places can be the only conclusion!