A new survey has shown Verastar’s belief that effective broadband is key to business success for the UK’s small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

Fourth utility

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) found that UK SMEs believe that access to fast, reliable broadband and mobile services is now vital to businesses success. Almost all the firms (99%) polled by FSB cited the internet as highly important to their business. 51% of FSB members noted that they currently provide online services, and 15% admitted that they plan to do so in the future.

Ted Salmon, FSB North East Regional Chairman, commented on the research saying: “Large numbers of small firms are using new digital technology to revolutionise the way they do business, but the market still has barriers stopping firms from seizing these opportunities.”

Collective minimum

Some firms polled by FSB admitted that the broadband service they receive fails to live up to their expectations, or meet their company’s requirements. The Federation has suggested that the implementation of a new Universal Service Obligation (USO) would solve this issue.

Salmon argued: “UK businesses and consumers have enthusiastically embraced digital communications, giving us a head start on our international competitors. But we cannot afford to be complacent. Consumer expectations and new technology are already overtaking past ambitions. We need to do even better, reaching a universal minimum of a least 10Mbps while also building greater trust and reliability.”

The results of the FSB poll indicate that UK SMEs see broadband as the fourth utility because it’s now essential in the UK’s increasingly digitised market place. However some UK small businesses aren’t being provided with the access to the speeds they need to meet their firm’s digital communication ambitions, a problem the sector must overcome to facilitate growth.


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