Small businesses 'unaware of broadband rollout' header image

Published: 7th Jun 2013

A number of UK small businesses are unaware of the government's plans to roll out super-fast broadband. 

New research carried out by AXA business insurance discovered that some 25 per cent of firms do not know about the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) project. 

The exact reasons for this lack of knowledge were not revealed by the study, but it could be a result of limited information about the BDUK being circulated, or businesses may simply not be looking in the right places for news that affects them. 

Darrell Sansom, managing director of AXA Business Insurance, commented: "The numbers of small businesses in the UK continue to climb rapidly, but it seems that many could be missing opportunities to help their business along the way through a lack of awareness of the support that may be available to them."

It is not just the BDUK project that small companies are unaware of, as only 17 per cent said they know about apprenticeship schemes and a quarter did not realise the corporation tax rate has been lowered. Indeed, only 13 per cent of firms could state the correct rate. 

The survey also revealed that small businesses doubt the effectiveness of government initiatives designed to support them. 

Just seven per cent of respondents said they believe there has been a noticeable reduction in red tape, while only four per cent claimed this has actually saved them money. Meanwhile, just two per cent of firms think being in an enterprise zone is beneficial. 

"We are also concerned that among those [businesses] that are more aware, many are not seeing the benefit that they would want," commented Mr Sansom. 

AXA's survey did not ask small businesses if they realise the benefits of super-fast broadband, but a lack of knowledge could be factor in why so many are unaware of the BDUK scheme.

However, the BDUK project is not due for completion until 2015 at the earliest and will only serve 90 per cent of UK premises. A faster way to receive the benefits of super-fast broadband that is available to all is satellite broadband.

Posted by Craig Roberts