Verastar reports on UK telecoms regulator Ofcom’s recent promise to ensure that British companies receive access to superfast broadband services.
Last month, Ofcom published its Strategic Review of Digital Communications report. It detailed plans to improve minimum broadband speeds and deliver a more effective quality of service throughout the telecoms sector. Ofcom has also called for an escalating Universal Service Obligation (USO). Initially this will be set at 10Mbps, increasing along with consumer demand. Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to implement this plan, with a solid timetable for delivery by 2020.
SME Insider writes that Sharon White, Ofcom’s Chief Executive, has addressed business broadband in greater detail at the recent Federation of Small Business (FSB) National Conference in Glasgow. The Chief Executive committed Ofcom to enforcing guidelines which would ensure that up to 98% of UK homes and offices receive access to indoor 4G mobile signal by the close of 2017.
New regulatory guidelines
Delivering her speech, White said: “Small businesses are much less well served than big businesses, particularly when it comes to superfast broadband. When small businesses do get a decent connection, too often they face problems with their service, and a poor response when they complain. The FSB has been a powerful voice for change, working hard for things to improve.
“We know mobile data is increasingly vital to businesses. So we’ve set rules to ensure that virtually all homes and offices – 98% – must receive an indoor 4G mobile signal by the end of next year. That must include at least 95% of homes and offices in each UK nation – including Scotland… Today we are launching a consultation to increase the use of ‘mobile repeaters’ – devices that boost mobile signals.”
Capitalising on digital technology
Responding to Ofcom’s pledge, FSB Policy Director Mike Cherry said: “Large numbers of small firms are using new digital technology to revolutionise the way they do business, but the market is still not delivering for all and this is acting as a brake on the ambitions of many businesses. Ofcom clearly gets the importance of small businesses – but we need to keep up the pressure and help them to deliver.
“Poor quality of service is a major barrier to firms who want to do more online. Ofcom is right to focus on raising minimum standards and making it easier to navigate the market. The new announcements today, combined with the plans set out in the Digital Communications Review, should help small businesses make the most from digital technology.”
Vital business utility
Increasingly, consumers are utilising digital technologies, especially 4G-equipped smartphones, to execute purchasing decisions and research businesses. Broadband is rapidly becoming a vital business utility, so Ofcom’s promise to deliver on business broadband should be welcomed by many UK small to medium sized enterprises. It should ensure they can capitalise on broadband technologies effectively to generate business. kinex, a brand operated by Verastar, provides the effective business broadband required to capitalise on the UK’s lucrative digital economy.
Verastar is a leading provider of essential business services to micro SMEs, operating under the following brands: kinex, Clear Business Water, Titan Telecom, Marble Telecom, Economy Gas and 118777 Limited. Our business model is focused on providing a spectrum of consolidated services that disrupt traditional markets and create great savings, efficiencies and value for our customers.