Broadband failings are stifling UK businesses

Two thirds of UK businesses say poor Internet connectivity is stifling new working practices and reckon current broadband speeds are impeding the growth of the UK economy

More than one in three businesses in Britain said their current Internet connection wouldn’t support collaborative working applications such as video conferencing, VOIP and access to cloud based services that are increasingly becoming the norm for today’s businesses. Some 72 per cent of those asked think more reliable and faster broadband will ultimately make their business more competitive.

Over 60 per cent of respondents believing unified communications would reduce their costs and increase productivity.

Commissioned by BE Wholesale and carried out by researchers at Dynamic Markets, the survey asked over 500 businesses across the UK whether the current broadband provision is a barrier or enabler.

Some 60 per cent of respondents don’t believe they’re receiving the speeds they’re paying for, while 38 per cent of businesses think their Internet connections cannot support applications such as high definition video conferencing and VOIP

Six out of ten businesses would adopt new collaborative applications, but only if they’re sure these wouldn’t impact email and web search based activities.

Dr Cherry Taylor, managing director of Dynamic Markets, reckons the "results suggest that many broadband networks are failing British businesses, with worrying ramifications for the UK economy as a whole. While there is clear enthusiasm for new Internet-based collaboration and productivity tools, there’s little confidence that current networks can deliver."

According to Dan Cunliffe, Head of BE Wholesale, service providers need to think differently. “If businesses want to save thousands of pounds a year on travel by investing in unified communications, video conferencing or remote access, then service providers need to deliver. Similarly, if they want to eliminate call costs between multiple offices using VOIP, their broadband needs to be able to support this."

"All too often providers concentrate on the pipe, rather than what it’s there to do; which is helping businesses adopt and use tools that allow them to be more productive, more efficient and more competitive. The research brings this into stark contrast and highlights the need for a mindset change right across the broadband and ISP market."