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Slow Broadband Speeds Damaging UK Businesses

Posted By: Published: 10/03/2020

The Federation of SmallBusiness released a survey of members which said that a quarter of their members are dissatisfied with their internet provision.  A 2016 OFCOM survey shows that small businesses spent an average of £11,323 on telecommunications services, including business broadband, but highlighted that the number one area they believed services could be improved was broadband speeds.

In addition, over half of the businesses surveyed stated they had never changed or reviewed their current service from its time of installation, despite 34% saying that problems with a broadband supplier would have a negative impact on their business.   In yet another survey, nearly half of those that have poor broadband speed would be willing to pay more for a better connection.

And last, and perhaps most worryingly, here in the UK, we lag behind 25 other European countries in terms of broadband speeds compared to the rest of Europe – definitely not front-runners in our own part of the world.  Countries we’ve fallen behind include the likes of Bulgaria, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Portugal, Romania, Hungary, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and more…  Indeed, seven of the top ten countries in the world with the best internet speeds come from Europe.

All of the above makes the UK look a little creaky around the edges in terms of cutting-edge broadband and the negative impact that this has on our businesses trying to compete in a global market.  

Although broadband has become more reliable for the majority, what remains a problem is the poor connection speed that many businesses continue to endure.  Regardless of company size, if your business uses (or is looking to migrate toward) Cloud-based applications such as Office365, technologies such as video conferencing, online payments or other e-commerce functions, you will need a high-speed connection.  Moreover, we are accessing our network with an increasing number of gadgets, so it is also essential to identify what these devices are (such as smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices that employees, customers or guests are using) as these will have an impact on your broadband speeds and network security.  

                                    In short, the more data being used, the larger the bandwidth required.

Loss of Productivity

A recent study by OnePoll found that businesses are losing a considerable amount of employee productivity due to poor broadband speeds and slow connectivity.

  • On average, employees lose 44 minutes every week due to slow / poor broadband
  • 39% report that their home internet is faster than their work internet
  • 7% say that their work internet grinds to a halt 10+ times in any 7-day week

On this basis, a typical business is losing nearly a week’s worth of time per employee per year simply because of a poor internet connection.  So, if your business has 10 employees, your business is losing over 2 months of employee productivity every year!  The inefficiency of a slow connection is costing your business more money than you might have guessed.  The impact of increasing productivity can be huge, and the simplest solution is faster internet and improved bandwidth.


According to research, nearly half of businesses agree that if their broadband connection improved, it would allow them to use more Cloud-based services, transfer larger files and allow remote server access for employees.  More and more companies are (or would like to!) moving away from local server-based applications and upgrading to Cloud-based applications such as Office365.  This provides them with applications familiar to their business but that operate over the internet and can be accessed by any device - helping to improve the productivity and flexibility of their workforce.   Functionality that’s accessible anywhere and anytime is the rapidly becoming the norm.


Technology is always evolving, with companies using an increasing number of internet-capable devices including IP telephony, smart phones, tablets as well as Cloud-based tools such as video conferencing, data storage, online payments and other e-commerce functions.  Having sufficient broadband speeds to handle an ever-changing and increasing number of these devices is critical.  A fibre broadband connection, for example, will ensure sufficient bandwidth for any number of devices being deployed by a large number of employees without experiencing a drop of speed during busy times - improving the flow of communication and quality of service you offer to employees and customers.

Remote working

Many businesses and employees in the UK are struggling to benefit from remote working, hampered by prohibitively slow broadband speeds and poor mobile coverage, according to research from  A quarter of employees (25%) have experienced issues with their telecoms services over the last year, resulting in a staggering four million being prevented from working at home.  Common issues that those who do manage to work remotely include:

  • Nearly a third (30%) were unable to send a large file to their clients or colleagues
  • One in ten (9%) were on a conference call when it cut out.

Cloud technology is what increasingly enables employees to seamlessly work from any location, giving them access via a virtual environment to the same information that they’d have access to while in the office. Collaboration and communication tools ensure that your employees can use the latest technology and complete work at the same level as they would be able to from their office desktop.

Employees can access documents and data that they need by using specific credentials that maintain security while at the same time giving them flexibility to work from home or any other location. Upgrading to a fibre broadband connection will enable your business to take advantage of Cloud solutions and provide this increased level of flexibility and shared access to information to all employees, regardless of location.

Cloud-based phone systems

Businesses can also take advantage of a more flexible, advanced, and futureproofed communication solution – with the ISDN switch off approaching in 2025, all phone systems must be taken online.  A faster and more secure broadband connection will allow your business to upgrade to the latest VoIP technology available today in order to maximise business efficiency.  Such systems will continue to evolve at the same pace as technology does, ensuring that your company will always be up-to-date, well before 2025.

With a dependable VoIP connection, calls can be received from any portable device such as a laptop or mobile phone by linking up all equipment and in office computer applications.  Perfect for businesses with multiple offices and field-based employees - resulting in effective unified communications.  All of this can be enabled on the back of a much faster business fibre broadband connection.


High-speed broadband is critical to us as a business, and Fibre.Net is an ISP with a mission to help UK businesses get faster, more reliable and more secure business-grade broadband.   We recommend that businesses look closely at upgrading to fibre broadband or migrate to a dedicated leased line in order to fully maximise today’s business tools, to fully enable Cloud-based solutions, and to dramatically improve your employee’s productivity.  If you are suffering from the restrictions of slow business broadband, get in touch with Fibre.Net  We can help

We look forward to hearing from you.  Give us a call on 0247 771 2222 or drop us an email on [email protected].  We're here to help.        

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