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London warns BT is stifling London’s growth with unaffordable broadband

In a statement posted yesterday Mark Boleat, policy chairman for the City of London, said "It is a major concern that firms in the Square Mile regularly complain that BT fails to deliver in a timely manner and provide the level of service required".

Mr Boleat claimed that despite the "attractiveness" of the city the lack of affordable high speed broadband available to SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) would "block...London's growth, just like constraints on aviation or Tube capacity"

Despite the range of dedicated leased lines providing the Square Mile with high speed broadband for the majority of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) they are too expensive to be a viable option for the enterprises.

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The Government's Broadband Connection Voucher scheme that offers up to £3,000 in grants to aid SMEs to install high-speed broadband has proven to be ineffective at getting SMEs connected. Only around four per cent of the £100m voucher scheme has been utilised across the UK.

BT responded "We are in talks with the Corporation of London about how to increase availability of lower-priced fibre broadband – which is primarily aimed at consumers, home workers and the very smallest SMEs."

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BT went on to say that their service is primarily aimed at consumers whose connectivity needs differ vastly from the services that businesses require and highlighted that "businesses throughout the Square Mile can access superfast services on dedicated lines specifically designed for companies. These are normally the most appropriate services for businesses"