FSB report slams UK business broadband speeds header image

Published: 14th Jul 2014

Small businesses require much better access to high-speed broadband infrastructure, experts have insisted.

According to a report by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), 94 per cent of small firms in the UK believe a reliable internet connection is vital to their success.

However, figures from the organisation show that many companies across the UK are still limited to connection speeds of less than two megabits per second.

In addition, it pointed out that approximately 45,000 businesses are currently limited to dial-up internet connections.

As a result, some firms are struggling with tasks such as communicating with clients online, uploading large files and sending digital invoices.

The FSB has therefore called on the government to improve web connectivity for small businesses, as current rollout initiatives are prioritising the residential market.

John Allan, national chairman of the FSB, commented: "The fact that we have around 45,000 businesses still on dial-up is unacceptable and many more throughout the country, even in London, are receiving poor service."

"Evidence from our members shows this clearly is a problem affecting all corners of the UK, rural areas and cities alike."

Mr Allan pointed out that while progress has been made when it comes to improving web connectivity for households, the same benefits cannot be said for businesses.

The government was urged to set ambitious broadband targets with the needs of British companies firmly in mind.

Mr Allan insisted that if the coalition aims to deliver "world-beating" digital infrastructure, businesses throughout the UK will be placed in a good position to expand, innovate and compete more effectively in a global marketplace.

He warned that failing to act on improving download and upload speeds will lead to firms' growth ambitions being "blunted".

Furthermore, Mr Allan noted that the government's efforts to get businesses in the UK to go "digital by default" when they are filling in their tax returns will be "impossible to achieve".