FSB wants more speed


New FSB-ICM figures show six out of ten people are unhappy with their broadband speeds.

As the Digital Economy Bill is debated in the Lords this week, figures from the FSB-ICM survey of 1,300 small firms shows that a quarter (24%) of respondents are dissatisfied with their broadband service.

Of those small firms that are dissatisfied, six in 10 (63%) said they are unhappy with the speed and reliability of their internet connection supplied by their service provider.

Another 30% said the area they live in has an unreliable broadband connection and 13% said they would consider moving business premises to an area with faster broadband.

In Cornwall, while broadband connectivity has taken great strides boosted by Objective One and Convergence funding, the FSB says the majority of businesses cannot achieve greater speeds than 2Mb/s, which, it says, is not good enough to operate on a global stage.

Richard Newman, FSB’s SW area policy spokesman commented: “An 8Mb/s minimum connection is a good starting point. However, Cornwall’s economic aspirations will demand a far superior service and we look forward to when the region enjoys 100Mb/s and greater connection speeds.”

The FSB is concerned that small firms are being promised a service from their broadband supplier which is not being delivered. The Government must ensure that good broadband infrastructure is put in place to ensure small firms and consumers get the broadband service they expect.

As the Digital Economy Bill is debated in the House of Lords, the FSB is urging the Government to ensure that the needs of small businesses and consumers are kept at the forefront of the debate and is calling for:

  • Internet service providers to be obliged to deliver a minimum and guaranteed connection speed of 8Mb/s direct to business premises
  • The telecommunications ombudsman’s remit to cover all service providers and their contractors
  • Ofcom to act truly independently of the industry in order to really ensure that small firms are getting a good deal