Access to broadband internet services has moved from a luxury to a necessity, according to a report commissioned by the White House, which found that broadband is now a core utility.
It’s not just imperative for business premises to have high-speed internet access, but also residential areas. The traditional model of working where everyone is in the same office in a main city is fast becoming a thing of the past.
More than 4.2 million people in the UK now work from home regularly.
These people need to be able to access corporate networks, to hold video conference calls with colleagues and clients, and even live-stream international events which they cannot attend in person. In short, they need an internet connection that can cope with the needs of a business user.
There’s no doubt that businesses, government organisations and industry bodies realise the importance of good connectivity for major cities – the business hubs and life blood of the UK economy – but connectivity remains patchy in many parts of the UK (even in London).
Connected Britain isn’t just about getting high-speed internet access to business zones, densely populated areas, or areas that would be the most profitable for ISPs, it’s about utility.
Employees with high-speed internet access are able to jump onto last minute video calls, or host webinars from home, while those with a poor internet service can find themselves cut off during client calls and waiting an inordinate time to download vital business documents.
What does this mean for businesses? It means that they are, to a large extent, at the whim of the major ISPs responsible for rolling out high-speed broadband.
Clients don’t see the processes a supplier has to go through to deliver high quality and timely work. All they see is one business being quick and efficient, while another constantly lags behind.
They don’t know that while one business, and its employees, enjoy unfettered high-speed broadband, the other struggles with communication and collaboration roadblocks due to their internet connectivity. They just see one business doing a better job than the other.
Connectivity is still an issue for the UK, and it’s a national issue. Businesses need access to high-speed broadband, but so do consumers.
The workforce is moving to a more distributed model, and if the UK economy is to remain competitive, connectivity needs to be consistently strong, offering a high-speed, quality connection regardless of where a person is working.
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