It appears that the majority of small businesses in the UK – 67 per cent according to figures – are operating with non-fibre ADSL broadband connections, with just less than one third using a fibre broadband option.
According to the watchdog the situation is leading to greater employee reliance on mobile phones in remote places, which, depending on the geographic area, can be patchy at best.
Stemming from these figures is the belief among small business owners’ that insufficient products and services from communications providers is directly affecting their growth, “the internet could be problematic for some small and medium-sized enterprises,” Ofcom stated, “those with an internet connection were very reliant on it.”
In response to the news the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is asking that priority is given to connectivity challenges faced by small companies.
FSB’s National Chairman, Mike Cherry, commented, “if small businesses are to compete in the new digital economy, they need to be able to get online and have proper access to the mobile services they need. My Cherry went on to say, “the USO must also include hard to reach areas to ensure rural businesses have the same level of connectivity,”
There is confirmation that Ministers have already decided to put a new broadband USO in place which will make sure that there is access to minimum speeds of 10Mbps for everyone by 2000. The USO will claim access to these speeds as a legal right for all in Britain.