A report produced by the
Federation of Small Business (FSB) says that the UK government need to have a
major rethink on the country’s broadband target, calling it "not fit for
The report found that
94% of small business owners believe a stable internet connection to be vital
to the success of their company. However, it was also found that as many as
45,000 businesses in the UK are still using dial-up speeds and just 15% are
happy with their current broadband offering.
The FSB said that when
compared to other nations, the UK is simply not ambitious enough in its plans
and called for "the government to commit to delivering a minimum of 10Mbps
(megabits per second) for all homes and businesses by 2018/19.”
businesses are to thrive and prosper and contribute to a growing economy, they
need universal access to what is now considered the fourth utility," the
However, the government
and BT both said that the findings were unrealistic and that the report
didn’t reflect the reality of the situation, although it was acknowledged that
the report is correct in highlighting the importance of a good connection to
"The fact that we
have around 45,000 businesses still on dial-up is unacceptable and many more
throughout the country, even in London, are receiving poor service," said
John Allan, chairman of the FSB.
our members shows this clearly is a problem affecting all corners of the UK,
rural areas and cities alike. While progress has been made with the residential
market, businesses have not enjoyed the same benefits, which is holding back
BT said in a statement
that some businesses in the report had said that they couldn’t access a fibre
connection when one was actually available to them. The telecoms company went
on to say that 73% of UK premises can already access fibre and it’s expected
that this figure will rise to 90% within the next two years.
"In rural areas,
more than 600,000 businesses and homes across the nation are already reaping
the benefits of superfast access, and we're reaching 30,000 more every single
week,” added the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
"In our cities,
more than 1,000 SME's (small and medium-sized businesses) have already made use
of our vouchers to boost their connectivity and free public Wi-Fi (sic) is
being rolled out in city centres and on public transport across the UK."
It went on to say that
the government will be publishing a new strategy for the UK’s digital
infrastructure by the end of this year. The new report will consider plans for
the next ten to fifteen years.