Slow broadband 'stifling London's connectivity' header image

Published: 22nd Jun 2016

A lack of fast and reliable broadband is holding back London's businesses, according to new research.

A report from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) claims this currently costs small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the capital up to £37 million a year.

The problem is particularly severe in the City of London, with firms here getting by on an average connection speed of 11.2 Mbps, compared to 20.5 Mbps for the capital as a whole. Silicon Roundabout - an area of the city where a large number of technology firms are based - was also highlighted as suffering from slow connections.

Colm Sheehy, senior economist at CEBR, stated: "The fact that central London has the highest concentration of SMEs suffering from low broadband speeds has implications for productivity in London’s economy."

Paul Dolman-Darrall, founder of Gamevy, a gaming consultancy business based in east London, stated: "Our new technology start-up has faced many business challenges since launching, but we never thought broadband would be one of them."

He said that despite being only two minutes away from the City of London, the company was unable to get fibre optic broadband, a situation the business man described as "absolutely ludicrous".

The CEBR research also revealed London SMEs are currently wasting around £30 million per year on unnecessary landline connections.

Broadband in the capital has been attracting a lot of media attention in recent weeks, with a number of stories about a lack of connectivity in the city making headlines.

In early August, a former worker at London's Tech City told the Guardian broadband in the area is very slow and called on the government to take action. 

Meanwhile, Andrew Ferguson, editor of thinkbroadband, said research by the organisation has revealed only 23.1 per cent of the City of London is likely to have super-fast connectivity by 2017.