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Report: UK broadband far too slow for business needs

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has claimed that the government needs much more ambitious targets for the rollout of superfast broadband for businesses across the UK.

FSB is an organisation that campaigns for the interests of the self-employed and owners of small businesses.

In a newly released report, it claims that an estimated 45,000 firms in the country are still on dial-up, with many on speeds lower than 2Mbps.

Read more: UK broadband "unambitious and inadequate"

These findings come alongside 94 per cent of small businesses participating in the study viewing a reliable Internet connection as critical to their success.

The FSB believes that the residential market may be seeing the benefits of high-speed broadband, but the business community isn’t.

It urges the government to reconsider its digital infrastructure strategy and put small businesses at the front of future rollout plans.

“Evidence from our members shows this clearly is a problem affecting all corners of the UK, rural areas and cities alike,” claimed FSB national chairman John Allan.

“While progress has been made with the residential market, businesses have not enjoyed the same benefits, which is holding back their growth.

“We therefore want to see the UK government show ambition with its broadband targets and put business needs at their centre. Leaving 5% of the population with a 2Mbps connection in 2017 is not good enough,” he added.

Whitehall is currently committed to improving broadband speed and access across the country with its Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) scheme.

The aim of this programme is to provide 95 per cent of the UK with access to superfast broadband, speeds of at least 2Mbps, by 2017.

The scheme has received some criticism due to the government allowing BT to dominate the contracts, however it recently awarded a contract to an independent ISP.