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UK broadband not up to scratch for small businesses warns FSB

The Federation of Small Businesses has warned the government that the UK’s broadband infrastructure is not fit for purpose and is calling for them to commit to delivering a minimum of 10Mbps for all business premises by 2019.

According to the latest figures, an estimated 45,000 small businesses are still using dial-up connections, with many struggling with internet speeds of lower than 2Mbps. The Federation of Small Businesses claims that while residential users are seeing the benefits of high-speed internet connections, the business community is still struggling with slower speeds that can affect their business.

The FSB claims that current government targets for internet speeds of 24Mbps for 95% of the UK population and at least 2Mbps for the remaining 5% will not meet the future demands of UK businesses and warns that reliable broadband connections will not be delivered under the current proposals.

Chairman of the FSB, John Allan told the press, “As this report shows, too many of our small firms are held back by the current state of the broadband market in the UK,

“We want Government to oversee the creation of world-beating digital infrastructure that will enable businesses to grow, innovate and compete in international markets. This means not only raising download speeds but also upload speeds that are so important and where provision is especially inadequate.”

As well as delivering minimum speeds of 10Mbps for all business premises by 2019, the FSB also want the government to prioritise fibre-optic lines to business enterprise zones, which as geared towards local growth.

According to the FSB, a structural reform is needed of the broadband market to ensure that the objectives are met. Mr Allan added, “We want to see the UK government show ambition with its broadband targets and put business needs at their centre,

“Leaving five per cent of the population with a 2Mbps connection in 2017 is not good enough“.