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London's tech city is being eroded by "not fit for purpose" broadband, say furious startups

According to startups around the capital, London's blooming technology scene is being stifled by a frustratingly easy problem to fix: Poor Internet connection services that are "not fit for purpose."

Lengthy installation delays and high fees have caused some startups to leave the popular area of Old Street (also known as Tech City) altogether.

The problem is so great it's been branded a "crisis" by Guardian reporter Samuel Gibbs. A group of startups and small ISPs are due to meet Labour MP Meg Hillier to discuss a resolution of the capital's broadband provision.

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Hillier herself has labelled the situation a "national embarrassment," and as the representative of Hackney South and Shoreditch (where many tech companies are based) she has called for urgent action.

Despite government access grants of £3,000, Hillier claims that the problems accessing high-speed broadband are widespread and have led some startups to abandon the area altogether. Some report that they've been experiencing issues since as early as 2010.

The solution, says Hillier, is to create a "comprehensive review of broadband, plans for infrastructure and roll out and a competitive framework for delivery."

Money transfer service, TransferWise, told the Guardian: "It's ridiculous that it takes so long for a company building an online business to get internet - not to mention that we had to pay rent on an office we couldn't use for months.

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"If the UK is serious about making Silicon Roundabout into a global tech hub, we need to do something to speed this up. Now it's all installed, we are happy with the speed and reliability of the connection but it took far too long to get to this point."

Critics have suggested that the problem will remain ingrained until a decent Internet connection is viewed to be as vital as water and electricity, automatically connected to the building or property as part of the landlord's responsibilities before moving in.

Hackney Council has made moves to try and address the complaints of local businesses, launching public Wi-Fi in central areas across the borough, while EE launched a high-speed 4G network in the area for anyone with a 4G handset, capable of reaching speeds around 300Mbps.