The Federation of Small Businesses has said that the figures released by Ofcom today on the state of the UKs’ broadband infrastructure highlight the challenges small businesses face in getting connected to the digital economy.
And the FSB is now calling on the Government to step up and deliver a Universal Service Obligation (USO) so that a basic level of broadband can be accessed by all small businesses by the end of the Parliament.
According to Ofcom, nearly half a million (480,000) small businesses cannot access superfast broadband, with 192,000 not even being able to access 10 Mbps. Coverage of business parks and rural areas continues to lag, affecting the ability of businesses to grow and innovate.
FSB has been campaigning to ensure that the USO covers small businesses as well as domestic households. Ofcom has confirmed today the USO should ensure every home and small business in the country has the right to a decent, affordable broadband connection of 10 Mbps or above by the end of the current parliament.
‘The situation for small firms is urgent’
Mike Cherry, FSB National Chairman, said that too many small businesses are held back by poor broadband coverage and slow speeds. “Although progress continues to be made, Ofcom has shown today why an ambitious USO is essential to get all businesses connected to a basic level of broadband.
“We are pleased that Ofcom have set out clearly the challenges small firms face and the options the Government has in resolving this issue. The situation for many small businesses is urgent – there is no time for delay. Government must step up and deliver the broadband our members need. “If small businesses are to compete in the new digital economy, they need to be able to get online.”