Small firms must get the broadband service they are promised, says FSB
New FSB-ICM figures show six in ten are unhappy with their broadband speeds
As the Digital Economy Bill is debated in the Lords next week, figures from the FSB-ICM survey of 1,300 small firms shows that a quarter (24%) of respondents are dissatisfied with their broadband service.
Of those small firms that are dissatisfied, six in 10 (63%) said they are unhappy with the speed and reliability of their internet connection supplied by their service provider.
Another 30 per cent said the area they live in has an unreliable broadband connection and 13 per cent said they would consider moving business premises to an area with faster broadband.
The FSB is concerned that small firms are being promised a service from their broadband supplier which is not being delivered. The Government must ensure that good broadband infrastructure is put in place to ensure small firms and consumers get the broadband service they expect.
As the Digital Economy Bill is debated in the House of Lords, the FSB is urging the Government to ensure that the needs of small businesses and consumers are kept at the forefront of the debate and is calling for:
- Internet service providers to be obliged to deliver a minimum and guaranteed connection speed of 8Mb/s direct to business premises
- The telecommunications ombudsman's remit to cover all service providers and their contractors
- Ofcom to act truly independently of the industry in order to really ensure that small firms are getting a good deal.
John Wright, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said:
"The online world is crucial to small business development, especially as small firms look to grow and expand as the economy recovers. Small businesses, particularly in rural areas, have been promised action to deal with slow broadband and the 'notspots' - where there is no broadband access - but they have seen little action.
"These figures show that the broadband service provided to small firms is letting them down. Small businesses need fast and reliable broadband to ensure the UK remains a key player in the global economy. The Digital Economy Bill gives the Government a chance to guarantee Britain becomes a real competitor and the FSB is calling on the Government to enforce rules on service providers and regulators so that small firms are given the fair deal they deserve."
For further details please visit www.fsb.co.uk