10 December 2014
If you’re a regular listener of the BBC programme Wake up to Money, you’ll have heard our MD, Jonathan Bowers, discussing Ofcom’s latest report on UK broadband yesterday morning. As you can imagine, there were a lot of comments about the study, which shed light on the areas in Britain where broadband speed leaves a lot to be desired. While some places enjoy 250 megabits per second, others struggle with what must be an incredibly frustrating 0.1 megabits per second; not even the bare minimum.
The BBC discussion mainly concerned the difficulties that slow broadband and poor connectivity cause for SMEs. We don’t realise we are using the internet all of the time, but all of the companies that are successful are only successful because they are using the web.
We need to be comparing ourselves to other countries and seeing how we measure up. If we’re falling behind in areas that are important for business success, things like broadband speed and internet connectivity, then we’re not competing on a global scale. We’re out of the race. If you look at Japan; there are rural areas there that are receiving 200 megabits a second. To put it into perspective, these places are twice as advanced as our government expects certain parts of Britain to be in 2017.
Shouldn’t this act as a wakeup call to invest more in laying more fibre and increasing connectivity instead of equating business growth with high speed railways? In my opinion, it’s our digital infrastructure that should be taking priority.