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UK Business federation calls for accelerated fibre rollout

British Broadband is not up to scratch, according to the Federation of Small Businesses. While much of the country’s bigger cities may be enjoying the benefits of high speed fibre optics, be it to their home or to the cabinet down the road, the statistics that the federation have come up with paint a much less rosy national picture.

For example, according to its report, over 45,000 business are still using dial up speed internet and many thousands more barely rising above one or two megabits a second. Due to the often out-of-town placement of certain businesses, the Federation said that they’re missing out on all the pushes for domestic broadband which is seeing those at home connected to ever faster connections.

Its demands are for the government to upgrade its plans for high-speed internet across the country, from its current ’24Mbps for 95 per cent and 2Mbps for the other five, within the next few years’, to a a commitment to get a minimum of 10Mbps for the entire country, regardless of location, by 2018/19.

“As this report shows, too many of our small firms are held back by the current state of the broadband market in the UK,” said John Allan, national chairman of the FSB (via The Telegraph).

“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.”

The Federation’s website looks so happy, you know it must be doing something right

To achieve these lofty goals, the Federation believes more competition between providers is necessary, so it wants the Competition and Markets Authority to look in to whether the current market allows too much of a monopoly for the likes of Virgin and BT and whether any changes could be made to allow other companies to encourage growth through competitiveness.

BT has poo-pooed the Federation’s claims however, pointing out that it is the most dominant ISP in rural areas where speeds are lowest and does not offer a dial up service itself. It also pointed out that over 70 per cent of the country was on fibre already, much faster than the planned 24 Mbps speeds.

KitGuru Says: Do you live in a rural area and struggle with low data throughput? My area is reasonably rural and is limited to 16Mbps as it stands, but that’s more than enough for most activities. 

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