19 May 2016

How long do you wait for web content to load before clicking away to a faster site, or just not bothering at all?

2016 queenI was fascinated to hear the discussions around the Queen’s Speech this week which confirmed that the Digital Economy Bill will bring a universal service obligation (USO) of 10Mbps for broadband.

Whilst I more than welcome the progress being made in the Digital Economy Bill and the promotion of internet use for people and businesses through these measures, I have to say it’s coming a little late. Despite numbers showing that 95% of the population are expected to have access to superfast broadband by 2017, I wonder how many people are satisfied with the speed of their internet access.

How many lost working hours can be put down to a lack of connectivity? Whilst there are claims in the press that connecting the remaining 5% would be “economically unviable”, I think that is ludicrous.

How can you say where the next incredible business is going to come from? Are big businesses, which pay back into the economy tenfold what they take, more likely to be born in cities or urban areas? Not necessarily. With a strong internet connection you can build a business from anywhere and this is how we could help smaller villages thrive in the future.

One of our clients, for example, runs an extraordinary business online, from a farm in Surrey. They’ve increased turnover by 400% in two years and capitalised on the big retail events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday with a solely online presence. Yet, whilst their website is fast for their clients, their own access to the back-end systems is hampered by the rural internet connection.

Here is a prime example of a business that could be doing even more incredible things if the government had moved more quickly to ensure that our internet access is keeping pace with the rest of the connected world.

It’s absolutely essential for our businesses to address these connectivity issues quickly.

During the announcement, the Queen said: “Legislation will be introduced to improve Britain’s competitiveness and make the United Kingdom a world leader in the digital economy. My ministers will ensure the United Kingdom is at the forefront of technology for new forms of transport, including autonomous and electric vehicles.”

I agree and wholeheartedly hope to see these progressive steps toward a more connected future take place.

What do you think? Are you happy with your broadband speed?

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