​Unreliable broadband hindering small firms in Norfolk header image

Published: 21st Jan 2016

Unreliable broadband is proving a serious hindrance to many small firms based in the north Norfolk area, a local business leader has said.

Judith Bell, development manager for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in East Anglia, discussed the issue at an open event in Sheringham, where she was joined by Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat MP for north Norfolk.

The aim of the meeting was to encourage non-members to join the FSB and campaign for better broadband services in the region, the Eastern Daily Press reported.

Currently, 200,000 firms around the UK are members of the federation but it does not currently have a branch in north Norfolk.

Discussing the problem of inadequate broadband, Mrs Bell said it is one of the biggest issues currently facing small enterprises.

A survey of FSB members last year identified unreliable internet connectivity as one of the top three hindrances to people running a business.

"We do hear horror stories of people not being connected, or having service issues and being without service, and that means it is almost impossible for them to do business for that period of time," said Mrs Bell.

"Many of our members are sole traders and people who work from home and therefore it is absolutely crucial to them that they have got access via broadband to the internet to conduct their business."

One of the potential solutions for people who often experience problems getting online is satellite broadband, an alternative to fibre and copper infrastructure that can be particularly valuable in rural areas.