max temp: 7°C

min temp: 4°C


East Anglia: FSB calls for Government to adopt more ambitious broadband targets

15:49 14 July 2014

Chris Soule, chairman of the Suffolk FSB branch.

Chris Soule, chairman of the Suffolk FSB branch.


The UK’s broaband network is not up to speed, according to a new survey by a leading organisation representing Britain’s small firms.


The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is calling for the Government to adopt more ambitious targets for rolling out high speed broadband for businesses with an estimated 45,000 firms still on dial up and many more struggling with speeds lower than 2megabits per second (Mbps).

More than nine of 10 small firms (94%) view a reliable internet connection as critical to the success of their business, says the FSB is its report, entitled “The fourth utility: delivering universal broadband connectivity for small businesses across the UK”.

But is says the current Government targets of 24Mbps for 95% of the population and 2Mbps for the remaining 5% will not meet the future demands of UK businesses, with some businesses still struggling to send digital invoices, upload large files or even communicate with clients via the internet even in areas where households have high speed broadband.

Chris Soule, the FSB’s Suffolk branch chairman said: “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. Evidence from 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 their growth.

“We therefore 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.”

He added: “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. Otherwise firms’ growth ambitions will be blunted, while Government efforts to get every firm to go ‘digital by default’ when filing its taxes online will be impossible to achieve.”

The FSB is calling for the Government, in co-operation with industry, to commit to delivering minimum speeds of 10Mbps for all business premises in the UK by 2018–19, regardless of location. This compares with the current target of delivering 2Mpbs for the hardest to reach five per cent by 2017.

Alongside this, it says the Government should set a medium to long-term objective of providing minimum speeds of 100Mbps to all premises by 2030.

By way of comparison, the FSB says Denmark is committed to offering universal access of 100Mbps to its citizens by 2020, while South Korea has a target of 1000Mbps (1Gbps) for 90% of its population by 2017.


1 comment

  • Sounds like the summer silly season has arrived. There is the usual need for objectivity and realistic targets. It's not just small businesses that need access to good broadband provision but in the end it is just another utility like water, electricity and gas. Many rural locations don't have gas and may have to survive without mains water and even mains electricity. Such services have been around for a lot longer than we even knew we needed broadband. It's not so long ago that a telephone line could be used for a single conversation or a very low speed data link. Now a single pair of copper wires can do both at the same time and data rates of 20 or 30 MBS are possible. The limitations in the future are technology and money. In life we deal with needs and wants. If FSB's need universal access to faster broadband then they will find a way for it to be funded. I suspect they want such technology but expect others to pay for it.

    Report this comment


    Monday, July 14, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Police at the scene of the robbery

Two men have been arrested in connection with a robbery at a One Stop convenience store in Claydon, Suffolk, on Sunday.

Roundabout at Ropes Drive West where the traffic light trial has been taking place

A trial switch off of the traffic lights at Ropes Drive west in Kesgrave will be extended into the new year, following feedback from the public.

Don't leave it til the day before, start preparing your Christmas treats now

Does the mention of Christmas bring you out in a cold sweat? All that shopping, cooking and cleaning.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne delivers his joint Autumn Statement and Spending Review. Photo: PA Wire

Chancellor George Osborne said councils could put up council tax bills by an extra 2% if the increase was reserved to cover social care costs as he delivered his Autumn Statement today..

Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere at the former sugar beet factory site off Sproughton Road.

A new Enterprize Zone involving 10 development sites across East Anglia, with the potential to create 18,500 jobs, was announced by Chancellor George Osborne today.

Police joined forces with partner agencies for the operation

People were arrested and vehicles seized in a series of police checks carried around in Ipswich and Thetford this week.

A barge on the River Gipping at Bramford around 1895. The road bridge and St Mary’s Church are on the left.

Beautiful countryside, with pleasant walks, fishing and picnic areas are how most now see the area around the River Gipping.

Cyber fraud suspect rebailed

A 32-year-old arrested on suspicion of conning an east Suffolk business out of more than £1million in cyber fraud has been re-bailed.

Woolverstone Wish appeal hits the half million mark.  Fundraisers and supporters meet on the site

Work is at last under way on a long-awaited and desperately needed new £3.7million state-of-the-art cancer centre – after a stunning past 12 months of fundraising.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, delivering his joint Autumn Statement and Spending Review to MPs in the House of Commons
Photo: PA Wire

The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement and Comprehensive Spending Review today divided opinion between unions employers.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Suffolk's trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the Ipswich Star e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24